FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Alberta Union of Nurse Practitioners (AUNP) Formally Begins Collective Bargaining
Edmonton, AB – The Alberta Union of Nurse Practitioners (AUNP) is looking forward to the commencement of collective bargaining with Alberta Health Services and Covenant Health this week. Sitting down at the table with employers and the provincial government is the next step in advocating for the advancement of nurse practitioners (NPs) across the province and improving access to primary care for Albertans wherever they live.
Since 2003, Alberta’s NPs have been disenfranchised by a short-sighted decision of the government of the time that prevented NPs from professional self-advocacy. As a result, these highly trained and expert clinicians have faced years of inequity in our healthcare system and have not been properly utilized which has limited access to care for Albertans. Despite having more training and possessing a greater scope of practice, NPs across the province are often paid less than their Registered Nurse (RN) counterparts.
Successful collective bargaining with the provincial government will be a key driver in enhancing the role of NP professionals in Alberta. The result will improve health outcomes, attract new talent to our province, and stop the bleeding of NPs to other provinces (namely Ontario and British Columbia) that we have experienced in recent years.
Bargaining to Improve the Health of our Healthcare
This is an excellent opportunity for the Government of Alberta to finally right a wrong - and there is plenty of support across the board for the advancement of NPs in our province. In addition to the recognition of the importance of NPs from Alberta Health Services and Covenant Health:
- In 2019, the United Conservative Party platform committed to “…increasing the number and scope of nurse practitioners in Alberta and allowing nurse practitioners the ability to bill directly to Alberta Health”; and
- The Blue Ribbon Panel on Alberta’s Finances provided independent confirmation of this need, finding “many of the duties performed by doctors can be assigned to Nurse Practitioners (highly qualified nurses) if their scope of practice is fully utilized”;
Ensuring that NPs in Alberta are fairly compensated and fully utilized in our healthcare system is truly a shared priority of our professionals, the provincial government, employers, and the Albertans that need our services every day. We are looking forward to positive and productive engagement with the Government of Alberta and the subsequent benefits that will flow to Albertans where they live – rural and urban settings alike.
“The AUNP bargaining committee is eager to engage with employers to achieve an agreement that fits the needs of their members, but also the employer and Albertans as a whole. The opportunity to advocate for NPs is a privilege and responsibility as we advance access to care across the province, together.” - Anne Summach, President of AUNP
AUNP became the certified bargaining agent for nurse practitioners in Alberta on December 20, 2021. Nurse practitioners are highly trained expert clinicians that are well suited to improve Albertan’s access to health care and to fill gaps in our province’s health care system for the benefit of all who live here.