Local 79 delivers PRC success in Grey Nuns Hospital Labour and Delivery Unit

Members of United Nurses of Alberta who work in Labour and Delivery at the Grey Nuns Hospital in Edmonton have achieved staff increases and other improvements by implementing the Provincial Collective Agreement’s Professional Responsibility provisions.

The PRC effort by Local 79 required a meeting with Karen McMillan, CEO Designate of Covenant Health, on June 27, 2017, to present the concerns and recommendations of the Unit 35 Registered Nurses, said Jenna Thibert, the Local’s PRC Committee chair.

Both ongoing and immediate changes resulted from the meeting with McMillan, which was scheduled after a six-month effort that saw 25 PRCs filed about a range of concerns including high acuity of patients, short staffing, increased overtime use to meet workload requirements, inadequate numbers of OR-trained nurses, lack of equipment, poor staff support from management, and poor staff morale.

The meeting also provided “an abundance of statistics detailing the five-year trends within the Labour and Delivery Unit,” Thibert observed. Changes resulting from the PRC process included:

  • An increase in baseline staffing on days and nights by one RN each, resulting in an increase of 2.8 FTE
  • Addition of a Unit Clerk in the Obstetrical Assessment Unit
  • Availability of new delivery equipment in the outpatient area
  • Creation of a list of equipment requested by staff with a commitment from the employer to add or request devices on it
  • ƒEstablishment of four staff committees to implement and evaluate program changes
  • The commitment to continue discussions about the unit’s line skill mix

The Local views the principal success to have been the increase in FTE for days and nights. “Swift change was implemented at the CEO level and the local would like to thank the team involved in hearing the concerns brought forward,” Thibert said.

“The Local would also like to thank each Registered Nurse on Unit 35 who completed a PRC, as every single PRC concern was utilized in creating the presentation and in supporting our requests,” she concluded.