The Alberta Labour Relations Board has released a ruling in response to United Nurses of Alberta’s complaint against Alberta Health Services after the employer was directed by the Government of Alberta to change its position in the wage reopener arbitration with UNA from no increase in 2019 to a wage rollback of 3 per cent.
An LRB hearing was held on Nov. 22, during which UNA representatives argued that the union was in arbitration with AHS, not the Alberta Government, and that changing its position was evidence of bargaining in bad faith under section 60(3) of the Labour Relations Code.
On Nov. 26 the LRB released a ruling stating that while the board had jurisdiction to address UNA’s complaint, in the context of the application, AHS did not breach section 60(3) of the Code by changing its position in the wage reopener arbitration. The LRB did not release the reasons for its ruling, which will be issued at a later date.
UNA is disappointed with the LRB ruling, but expects a fair arbitration process in accordance with the law. The wage reopener arbitration between UNA, AHS and other health care employers is scheduled to take place on Dec. 4 and 5, 2019.
UNA represents more than 30,000 Registered Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses and allied health care workers in Alberta, a significant majority employed in the public sector.