Monday, June 8, 2009

Alberta nurses union files grievance over work conditions.

The new Super Board seems to be super centralising decision making and in the process screwing things up big time. The Board is creating sickness in the system. Perhaps some democracy with greater local control again would help the patient recover. Spending some money to hire more front line staff would help as well. We can spend billions to bail out car makers but when it comes to the health care system it seems that cuts are to be the order of the day. If more patients die that will be less expense.

Alberta nurses union files grievance over work conditions

By Jodie Sinnema, Canwest News ServiceJune 5, 2009
EDMONTON — Alberta’s nursing union has filed a grievance with the health authority for not posting job vacancies and forcing nurses to work overtime, short-handed and without vacations.
The United Nurses of Alberta heard from nurses across the province who were working 16-hour shifts including four hours in overtime, looking after 50 emergency room patients by themselves and told they would have to file papers and answer phones since a unit clerk was retiring and not being replaced.
Job postings have disappeared from the career section of Alberta Health Services, with every job needing final approval from the health authority’s executive team. Stephen Duckett, CEO for Alberta’s superboard, said the province isn’t short of nurses, despite years of closed beds, long wait lists and aggressive recruiting overseas.
“This isn’t good for patient care,” said David Harrigan, director of labour relations for United Nurses of Alberta. He said as long as Alberta Health Services’ main focus is on staying within a tightened budget, patient care and nursing morale will deteriorate.
Harrigan said the union has a tentative meeting scheduled with the health authority the week of June 15 to discuss the contractual grievance. He said if the two groups can’t come up with a solution, an arbitrator could step in.

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