FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: [email protected]
July 21, 2021 https://abnursepractitioners.nationbuilder.com/contact
Earlier today, the NPAAU chose to withdraw its two active certification applications before the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) – one covering the Nurse Practitioners employed at Alberta Health Services (AHS) and one covering the Nurse Practitioners employed at Covenant Health. Here is why the NPAAU Board made this difficult decision and how we will move forward.
Although the ALRB officer’s report confirmed that the NPAAU had received far more than the required support of over 40% of Nurse Practitioners at both AHS and Covenant Health, the United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) disputed this finding and raised numerous additional objections to both of NPAAU’s applications. Accordingly, hearings were scheduled for both applications in order to address UNA’s objections and also to determine whether or not the bargaining unit that NPAAU applied for in each case was appropriate.
Hearing and arguing these issues has caused significant delays. The AHS hearing began as a two-day hearing in early July and soon expanded into a five-day hearing scheduled to end in late September, and a decision on the AHS application was not expected until October. The Covenant Health hearing began as a two-day hearing in late July, and was in large part adjourned until after the decision for the AHS application. As a result, a decision for the Covenant Health application was not expected until late October or early November.
The NPAAU Board found these delays unacceptable. Nurse Practitioners across the province have shown their support for a union by Nurse Practitioners, for Nurse Practitioners. You expect NPAAU to act in the best interests of Nurse Practitioners at all times, including doing what is necessary to put forward the strongest possible case for NPAAU to be the certified bargaining agent for our membership. NPAAU aims to deliver. And in this case, we found that it would be less expensive, more timely, and ultimately more effective to simply withdraw both active certification applications and to re-submit new ones after the required 90-day period. Having withdrawn the applications earlier today, NPAAU will become eligible to re-apply for certification on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. And, with the support of our members, that’s what we aim to do.
When NPAAU re-applies for certification for AHS and Covenant Health, we expect that UNA or another party will once again raise objections to our new applications. A significant benefit of withdrawing from the current applications is that we can take steps to further strengthen our next applications against the critiques that UNA has raised.
Over the next 90 days, NPAAU intends to proactively improve upon our recruitment process and continue our commitment to addressing the needs and concerns of our members and Nurse Practitioners at large. We will refresh our branding and communications, and reconnect with you to hear and respond to your comments and questions. You have a choice of who you want to represent you at the collective bargaining table. Your voice deserves to be recognized. And your support matters now more than ever.
Thank you for your continued support of NPAAU throughout this process. It is our hope that, by withdrawing from the current applications, we will not only save time and expense, but also seize the opportunity to build upon the formidable groundwork that has now been laid for this new union of Nurse Practitioners across the province.
Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta – Union (NPAAU)