2012: Health Minister Fred Horne records a YouTube message to Alberta’s Nurses wishing them “all the best for National Nursing Week.”
From Horne’s YouTube video (May 10, 2012): “I want you to know that you're a very very important part of the health care system in this province and you contribute greatly to the quality of life that all of us and joy here in Alberta.”
“…as we move forward and we work together to make improvements to the health care system I want you to know that we will be consulting you every step of the way.”
2013: Health Minister Fred Horne records no public message for Nursing Week and does not consult with UNA before Alberta Health Services announces layoffs of more than 60 nurses in Calgary. Nurses face position eliminations in acute-care facilities in Calgary and Edmonton.
During the past two weeks, AHS gave layoff notices to 21 homecare nurses, 19 chronic-disease management nurses, and 24 of 50 Registered Nurses working in palliative homecare program.
UNA President Heather Smith has written a letter to AHS CEO Chris Eagle demanding answers as to why Registered Nurses are being laid off at Alberta health facilities.
Smith requested an immediate itemization of all the layoffs, position eliminations and previously posted positions that will now go unfilled affecting nurses represented by UNA since April 1, 2013.
Smith also requested that AHS immediately disclose to UNA all anticipated changes that are expected to be made within the next year and a detailed estimate of the anticipated financial savings to AHS as a result of these staffing changes.