Townhall - August 24

Share

NPAAU Update - September 3

 

Nurse Practitioners Association of Alberta Union

Update

September 3, 2021

Greetings fellow Nurse Practitioners,

Here is a brief update to address the following topics:

UNA petition

Further to our previous update, we have heard from many NPs who have been receiving emails from UNA urging them to sign a petition to show support for UNA’s application to be certified as bargaining agent. At the time of our previous update, we had not yet reviewed a copy of that petition, so we were unable to confirm its origin, purpose, or content at that time, although our understanding was that the petition in question was from UNA. We have now reviewed a copy of the petition, which is clearly from UNA and for the purpose of canvassing support for UNA’s application to be certified as bargaining agent.

On Friday, September 10, 2021, NPAAU will be emailing out our own petitions to NPs at AHS and Covenant Health, so please watch for one in your inbox and kindly reply as soon as you receive it.  For more details, please see our timeline update sent on August 30, 2021.

UNA emails

Many NPs have also expressed concerns because they are now receiving emails from UNA (sometimes daily) without their prior knowledge, without having given their email addresses to UNA, and without having given their consent to receive such emails from UNA. We understand that UNA is running an aggressive campaign to obtain NPs’ personal contact information and to obtain their consent to use and share that personal contact information. Although we are not aware of any privacy law breaches at this time, we will continue to closely monitor the situation.

Just as you have the right to choose who you want to represent you as your bargaining agent, you also have the right to choose whether or not you will consent to allow NPAAU, UNA, or any other organization to collect, use, and share your personal information (which can include your email address). Trade unions and other organizations generally cannot collect, use, or share your personal information without your consent. If an organization has collected your personal information without your consent, they must tell you their intended purpose for collecting personal information and they must give you a reasonable opportunity to decline or object to having your personal information collected, used, and shared.

If you have received an email from UNA and if you do not want UNA to collect, use, or share your personal information, you can reply to UNA that you wish to be removed from their mailing list and that you object to UNA collecting, using, or sharing your personal information.

Special NPAAU Board meeting

Our next important event is our special NPAAU Board meeting on Thursday, September 9, 2021. At that meeting, the Board will be voting on the proposed amendments to the Constitution, including the new name for our union, which were sent August 6, 2021 along with the notice of the meeting.

We encourage all NPAAU members to attend the special Board meeting and to provide your feedback to the Board. If you haven’t already, please take this opportunity to review our proposed amended Constitution, to review our timeline update, and make arrangements to attend the special meeting on September 9, 2021.

Once the new name of the union has been confirmed, a new logo and branding will immediately follow, and we will begin the next phase of reaching out to NPs and sending out our petitions to confirm  support for our upcoming certification applications for AHS and Covenant Health.

Once again, on behalf of the NPAAU Board and the Alberta Counsel team, thank you for your ongoing participation and support! As always, please reach out to either myself or Anne with any questions or concerns and we will be happy to speak with you.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Mary-Elizabeth Cooper NP

President

Nurse Practitioner Union.

 

 

Download the update

 

 

Share

NPAAU Timeline for Nurse Practitioner Applications for Certification

Hello, everyone -

Our team at the Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta - Union would like to thank all of the Nurse Practitioners who supported us throughout our previous certification application process and who continue to offer your support, encouragement, and valuable input as we move forward with our new certification application. You have clearly shown us that a union of NPs representing NPs is the best option to ensure both a strong and enforceable bargaining agreement and effective ongoing lobbying and advocacy for the Nurse Practitioner profession as a whole.

To those Nurse Practitioners who may not be supportive of the NPAAU at this time, we value your voice, opinions, and input, and we would welcome the opportunity to connect with you. Your participation is instrumental in determining the future both for the union and for all NPs.

Presently, the NPAAU is moving forward on a new path towards certification to become the bargaining agent for NPs at Alberta Health Services and Covenant Health. Here is a brief timeline outlining the next steps that NPAAU plans to take:

STEP ONE:       SPECIAL MEETING OF THE NPAAU BOARD OF DIRECTORS

September 9, 2021

The Board will hear from NPs, discuss, and decide on proposed amendments to the NPAAU Constitution, including:

  • Changing the name of the union
  • Giving members the ability to hold Special Meetings of the Members
  • Clarifying how members will vote on job actions and collective agreements
  • Creating new non-voting membership options (Associate and Student)

 

STEP TWO:      ELECTRONIC PETITION          

September 10 – October 10, 2021

NPAAU will send an electronic petition to NPs employed at Alberta Health Services and at Covenant Health, gathering support for NPAAU to be certified as the bargaining agent for NPs at each employer

  • No payment is required to sign the petition
  • The petition will be signed electronically
  • The petition is open to existing NPAAU members and non-members
  • The petition is separate from membership in the union (signing the petition does not make you a member, although the NPAAU continues to welcome new members and online membership applications)
  • The petition will need the signature of NPs representing at least 40% of the bargaining unit in order for the ALRB to process the certification application
  • The petition will show NP support to the ALRB more strongly and clearly than the previous method using membership applications

 

STEP THREE:   REVIEW PETITION SIGNATURES

October 11 – October 20, 2021

NPAAU will review the certification petitions for Alberta Health Services and Covenant Health to determine if the 40% support threshold has been met for each

  • With the minimum 40% support confirmed, NPAAU will prepare to submit its applications for certification to the ALRB
  • October 20, 2021 is the earliest date that NPAAU can submit its applications for certification to the ALRB

STEP FOUR:     CERTIFICATION APPLICATION

October 20, 2021

NPAAU will submit its applications for certification to the ALRB

  • For each application, an ALRB Officer will confirm the 40% support and issue a report
  • For each employer, the ALRB will order a representation vote of all NPs within each employer
  • If there are any objections to either application, the ALRB will determine if a hearing is required to resolve them

 

Once again, thank you for your ongoing support. As always, we welcome your input and we will be happy to address any questions that you or your colleagues may have. Please contact either:

Mary-Elizabeth Cooper           [email protected]

Anne Summach                       [email protected]

 

Very Best,

The NPAAU Team

 

Download the Timeline for NP Applications for Certification

Share

Message from the President

Greetings, fellow Nurse Practitioners -

I am writing today to update you on our progress towards unionization. It is the NPAAU’s goal to be as open, accurate, and transparent as possible in our communications with you, and to keep you as informed as possible about the union’s activities as we continue forward.

Union members and other members of the Nurse Practitioner community have brought a number of questions and concerns to our attention in connection with the recent ALRB hearings and we would like to take this opportunity to address those questions and concerns.

NPAAU has shown, and continues to gain, the support of more than 40% of NPs working at AHS and at Covenant Health.

As you are likely aware, on April 26, 2021, NPAAU applied to the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) to be recognized as the certified bargaining agent for all eligible Nurse Practitioners working at AHS and at Covenant Health.

In order for a certification application to be successful, the application must include proof that the applying union has the support of at least 40% of the eligible employees in that bargaining unit. It is standard practice for the ALRB to investigate every application and to verify whether or not it actually shows the required support of at least 40% of the eligible employees.

NPAAU’s application for AHS included a complete list of our active members working at AHS, and NPAAU’s application for Covenant health included a complete list of our active members working at Covenant Health. The ALRB investigated each of NPAAU’s applications and, for both AHS and Covenant Health, the ALRB officer’s report confirmed that NPAAU had successfully shown the support of more than 40% of the eligible Nurse Practitioners at each employer.

NPAAU defended our certification applications.

There were objections to both of NPAAU’s certification applications. NPAAU’s certification applications could not proceed until those objections were addressed in hearings.

AHS objected to the exact wording of the bargaining unit that NPAAU applied for; AHS wanted to add wording clearly excluding Nurse Practitioners who perform managerial duties more than 50% of the time. Along those same lines, AHS objected to four NPAAU members being included in the application because, in their opinion, those employees performed managerial duties more than 50% of the time. Although NPAAU prepared arguments to defend those employees and the wording of the bargaining unit, these two objections from AHS were relatively minor, and together were set to take up only a day (likely less) of hearings.

The main objections came from UNA (or for the AHS application, UNA acting as agent for Kevin Huntley). UNA raised the same three objections to both the AHS and Covenant Health applications:

  1. UNA alleged that NPAAU did not show the support of 40% of the eligible employees in each bargaining unit. In their filed objections, UNA claimed that Nurse Practitioners were confused and that NPAAU members didn’t understand that you were showing support for the NPAAU when you made your NPAAU membership payments.

  2. UNA alleged that NPAAU used coercion, intimidation, threats, promises and undue influence, and that NPAAU deceptively pulled a “bait and switch” that tricked Nurse Practitioners into thinking that you were joining NPAA when in fact you were joining NPAAU.

  3. UNA alleged that several NPAAU members didn’t make their own membership payments and that NPAAU allowed them to join anyways. UNA withdrew this objection on the first day of hearings after NPAAU gave evidence to UNA, AHS, and the ALRB which established that UNA’s objection was unfounded.

At the scheduled hearings, NPAAU vigorously defended both certification applications. Our position was not that our application process had been perfect. To the contrary: we are admittedly a new union, and we continue to learn as we go. We recognize and acknowledge that our communications, branding, and processes often could and should have been clearer and more precise to better inform Nurse Practitioners. Although we do not agree with UNA that these shortcomings effectively fooled or misled Nurse Practitioners, they have nevertheless highlighted opportunities for improvement going forward.

NPAAU’s decision to withdraw and re-apply will save time, save money, and benefit both the union and our applications.

Hearing and arguing the issues raised in UNA’s objections resulted in significant delays. Multiple written briefs were filed, and multiple witnesses were called upon during the initial hearings to provide testimony and to be examined on their evidence.

What began as a two-day hearing set to end in early July soon expanded to a five-day hearing scheduled to end in late September, with a decision expected in mid-October at the earliest. And that was only for the AHS hearing; the Covenant Health hearing was largely adjourned until after the AHS matter had been decided. A decision on the Covenant Health hearing was not expected until late October or early November.

As we noted in our news release of July 21, 2021, when faced with these extreme delays, the NPAAU Board canvassed its options and determined that it would be less expensive, more timely, and ultimately more effective to withdraw the existing certification applications and to re-submit new ones after the required 90-day wait period. In the meantime, NPAAU is able to refine our approach, continue to build our organization and membership, and remove any doubt of the growing support that Nurse Practitioners have shown for a union for NPs by NPs.

NPAAU will become eligible to re-apply for certification on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. With the support of our members, that’s what we aim to do, and we continue to be on track towards this goal.

NPAAU welcomes your input and participation!

The NPAAU as an organization, and we as your elected Board members, are already taking steps to improve our communications, branding, and processes to better serve you, our valued members and colleagues.

Our next step is to choose a new name for the union that the union that will be more clearly distinct and separate from the NPAA. We’ve presented a number of options to you, our members, and we’re very happy with the results of the poll and with your positive feedback!

Accordingly, we have called a special meeting of the Board on Thursday, September 9, 2021 to amend our existing Constitution to reflect the new name of the union and to make other proposed changes designed to bolster the organization and to engage our members. Although the Board will have the final vote at this special meeting, we will first hear and consider feedback from our members: attendees will be given the opportunity to voice your comments and we strongly encourage you to attend. All members should have received notice of the special meeting, including the proposed changes to our existing Constitution, by email on August 6, 2021. If you did not receive that notice, please contact either me or our Vice-President, Anne Summach, at the email addresses below.

In the meantime, we encourage you to read the existing Constitution, to make notes, and to attend our upcoming townhall meeting on Tuesday, August 24, 2021. We will do our best to address your questions there.

Should you or any member have any questions or concerns about this or any other communication, kindly direct your correspondence to me or to your Vice-President, Anne Summach, so that we can connect with you directly, address your questions and concerns thoroughly, and provide you and other Nurse Practitioners with accurate and up-to-date information.

Thank you for your ongoing support and participation as we continue to lay groundwork for this new union of Nurse Practitioners across Alberta!

Respectfully,

Mary-Elizabeth Cooper NP

President, NPAA Union.

[email protected]

[email protected]

 

 

Click here to download the update

Share

Q&A Meeting - July 27

Share

YOU have a say in the Nurse Practitioner union’s new name!

YOU have a say in the Nurse Practitioner union’s new name!

 

We’ve listened to Nurse Practitioners across the province, and we’ve heard your message loud and clear: the name of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta – Union (NPAAU) is too similar to the existing name of our sister organization the Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta (NPAA). The two organizations are certainly very different, so it makes sense to find a new name for our union that’s as distinctive and as unique as our members are!

 

It’s time to adopt a new name for the Nurse Practitioner union. The Board of the (for-now-still-named) NPAAU will soon hold a special meeting to consider this and other amendments to our Constitution. Meeting details will follow soon and we encourage all members of the union to attend. In the meantime, we’d love to get your feedback and your preferred name options!

Please click on the link below and help us identify your top choices for the union’s new name: 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScnTT_OmIR0Jqn-1x5OxpugZdpZoJGuXAQlR6O6LcgF-r4Qzg/viewform

Share

NPAAU Withdraws current ALRB certification applications and will re-apply

NEWS RELEASE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                             Contact: [email protected]

July 21, 2021                                                                     https://abnursepractitioners.nationbuilder.com/contact

 

Good afternoon,

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. 

Sincerely,

Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta – Union (NPAAU)

 

Share

Update - July 5th, 2021

Here is a quick update of where we are.

 

The vote was completed on June 18th and the votes will remain sealed and will not be counted until the objections that have been brought forward to the ALRB are heard. Those hearings are scheduled through July where our lawyer team is presenting evidence to refute or answer the objections.

The Alberta Counsel lawyer’s bill is $ 125,000.00 and counting, which is not unexpected for the amount of work they are doing. A payment plan will be set up once NPAAU is certified and a completed CBA has been established. NPAA funds will also go to help pay this bill as NPAA initiated this process according to the members' support.

Once the vote has been counted and we have been certified, then the team will move forward with trying to start collective bargaining. Any further updates will be sent out as the information becomes available. It is unlikely we will hear about the vote before early August.

If anyone has any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to reach out to Anne or myself at [email protected] or [email protected].

 

Thank-you everyone for your support. We will let you know once the vote has been completed.

 

Sincerely,

 

President, Mary-Elizabeth Cooper NP

Vice President, Anne Summach

 

Share

Weekly Meeting - APril 27

Share

Just the Facts

NPAAU aims to provide NPs with valuable and relevant information. We want NPs to be informed about the entire unionization process and have worked hard to make ourselves available for any questions. We have and will continue, to host weekly Q&A sessions (now occurring twice a week!) to address any, and all NPs, who join in.

 

For those that are unable to make it, and would like a brief summary of 'Just the Facts' please see the following document:

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/abnursepractitioners/pages/42/attachments/original/1619632617/NPAAU_April_28_2021.pdf?1619632617

Share