UNA negs

  1. I am a new RN in Calgary, and I am very interested in our contract and negotiations. Can anyone tell me how to stay current with the negotiations? I have found it difficult to get any information about the direction of our discussions!

    Thanks!
  2. Visit kaylaRN profile page

    About kaylaRN

    Joined: Apr '07; Posts: 6
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in General Surgery/Surgical Oncology

    11 Comments

  3. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Go to the UNA website (www.una.ab.ca) and click on the UNANet log in button at the top left of the page. Follow the instructions to get a UNANet account. They'll want your member number and a few other verifications to be sure you are who you say you are. It might be a few days before you can get everything workign, because of it being Easter. (The union staff get both Friday and Monday off, unlike the nurses they represent!) You'll also have to download the First Class software. Then once you're hooked up, log in to UNANet and look at the list of folders. On the left side of the list second from the bottom is "Negs 2007". Open that folder and start reading. Prepare to be enraged! In solidarity...
  4. by   leosrain
    It took me forever just to find out who to call to get the form to fill out to get a membership number so that I could sign up for UNANet(which reminds me...I stil need to do that!).

    I'm discouraged that you need to download software. I'm worried that it won't be compatible with my iBook. ARG! Would a simple discussion forum be too much to ask for?

    You would think that in this day and age, it would be easier to receive updates on negotiations. ARG! Why is it that nursing and technology seem like oil and water sometimes. We're living in the 80s here!

    Anyway...I'm hoping to also find info there on becoming a rep for my unit. We don't have one as far as I know. We're all very removed from what's happening in the union.
  5. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Sean, you won't find info on how to become your unit rep on UNANet... you'll find it here. Just call your local office and leave them a voice mail telling them you'd like to represent your unit, with the pertinent information. They'll (eventually) call you back and set you up. Then you'll automatically get all the flyers they send out to unit reps and information about upcoming meetings, opportunities to attend CFNU, ALC and other labour related meetings and other stuff.

    Yes, UNANet is frustrating. I personally HATE First Choice but that's the program they went with. You don't actually have to download the software, you can use a web browser, but I've had problems accessing some things that way. Usually I can find a way around that, but not always. I just checked in with them and there's nothing new, other than the summary of positions, 17 pages in total. I'm going to print them up tomorrow and find a way to disseminate them to my unit. I'm underwhelmed to say the least with the employer's position. If they're trying to alienate the nurses of Alberta, they're on the right track.
    Last edit by NotReady4PrimeTime on Apr 7, '07 : Reason: typo
  6. by   joey1967
    I just saw the latest offer to UNA - and I must say, shame on the province. :angryfire We need to compensate nurses fairly for the tough job we are currently faced with, especially here in Calgary, where going to work is like going to the frontline of a war. We have a had plenty of media attention drawing all eyes to the fact that we are in a HEALTH CARE CRISIS. What will it take for the province to get this message??? The cost of living is becoming unaffordable for many single nurses that I work with, housing is a challenge, gas, food, etc., not much left over after all the bills are paid. Heads up new nurses thinking of relocating here - you will have to work full time if you don't have a parnter and want to go it alone. Some health regions are using overtime as recruitment strategy!!! HUH, and WHOSE risk??? Overtime is a double edged sword, working 16 hours a day, and shortshifting, are not SAFE options to keep enough units staffed. People get tired, make mistakes, get run down, sick. Not to mention the mental toll you face when physically and mentally exhausted. I encourage all UNA members to look at the newest offering and make their voices heard!!!
  7. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    I second that, joey1967! We all need to make our views clearly known to every level of management, right from the unit on up. Can the employer honestly think that rollbacks in any form would EVER be considered acceptable? It's interesting that when we were given 3% last year, our out-of-scope management people got 4.25 % and this year, the day we started working without a contract, they got another raise, this one 6%. Do you think THEIR benefits were rolled back? Not on your life! The posts on UNANet have been unanimously angry and disappointed with our union for agreeing to mediation without taking it to the membership. I predicted even before negotiations started that things would be at least as ugly this time round as they were last time, and I'm not pleased to have been proven right. The employer just doesn't GET IT!!! But they're pretty well insulated from the fallout, since not a one of them is a front-line health care provider, and they all know darned well that they'd get preferential treatment if they needed health care themselves, so I have very little hope of a swift and just result.
  8. by   kaylaRN
    I just saw the new offers this weekend-- Am I supposed to be comforted that even though the RRSP contributions will be eliminated, I will now have hearing aids covered?? Not likely that I will need those during the proposed 4 year contract! It is insulting and disheartening that the employer is refusing to acknowledge the insane growth of our province, not to mention the money that seems to be floating around Alberta! This is Alberta's chance to provide us with compensation that will lure RNs to the province... Unbelievable.
  9. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    I just got back from a local general meeting. Heather was there and she says she's expecting to meet with the minister of health on Friday... lots of laughter about it being Friday the 13th... She says there has already been a lot of feedback from people and it's all negative. It's quite obvious that the employer has no clue about what's been happening in other provinces, and isn't concerned that Saskatchewan is wooing nurses away from Alberta in growing numbers every day. They have a $5000 per year signing bonus payable up front, so if I were to agree to work in Saskatoon for four years, they'd give me $20K on my first day of work! I could sell my little old house here and pay cash for something bigger, nicer, with lower property taxes and closer to work. Why on Earth would I choose to stay here (if I didn't have family ties and other encumbrances)? The young footloose nurses have nothing to lose by leaving, but it looks like they don't care. Maybe it's time to vote with our feet.
    Last edit by NotReady4PrimeTime on Apr 12, '07 : Reason: typo
  10. by   purseOnalityRN
    Hey Gals, I too read through the 17!!!! pages of negotiations/positions as of April 5th & I am utterly appalled. How can the employers REALLY treat us this way when there is a critical shortage, problems with retention & recruitment to say the least! We've been literally breaking our backs, burntout, stressed to the max! Now really, I have only been a nurse for 4 years now - I have spoken to nurses with 25+ years experience & they have stated that working conditions have NEVER been so bad. I really do feel like I'm voiceless, helpless etc. as upper management never seems to listen to any issues. At the local meeting they stated we should keep voicing our concerns to management. Can we count on our union to keep fighting?? I'm really worried.
  11. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Our union will definitely keep on fighting. The majority of our executive members, other than a very few at the provincial level, are employed as grunts like all the rest of us, so what happens to us happens to them too. The members of the bargaining committee have taken union leaves from the bedside to negotiate for us. None of them are interested in any of that garbage the employer has trotted out and called a good deal. I know it's easy to become discouraged, but I've been through all this more than a few times and I can tell you that nothing worth having ever comes easily. (Or quickly!) Keep your ear to the ground, make your feelings known in as loud a voice as you can and keep the faith. Voluntary mediation is often a good thing for us, so don't give up yet!
  12. by   joey1967
    This latest contract "offering" is INSULTING. I too was at the meeting on the 11th but unfortunately could not stay to hear how we move forward and get our voices heard. Staff on my unit are also worried that the Union will cave, I hope otherwise. I know that there is a media ban in place, maybe this was not a good idea??? Unfortunately, I feel that public support is wavering with nurses, it seems that complaints to CARNA are at an all time high. The abuse on medical units from pts and their families is also increasing....What can we do to fix this - we are victims like the pts we care for, stuck in a terrible system, the public needs to get on board with this and also pressure the province to take these negotiations seriously. On my already short staffed unit, we have lost one FTE to Sask. This nurse with 10+ years of experience did exactly what was mentioned, took a nice bonus, sold their house, now will live with money in the bank and without the stress of a population surge out of control. The mayors of our larger urban centers should also be pressuring the province to get with it and get real about the situation. And the downside - this problem is only going to get worse, as this population ages, as more people relocate, as more young people have babies...And these "new additions" of hospitals furiously being built, which will "ease" the crisis...I laugh. How long can the Health Regions ignore the real truth...new units will open, but beds will be closed because of staffing shortages. A costly ineffective soloution IMHO. Nurses will not be able to relocate because this contract does not even match the increase of living in Alberta, especially Calgary, where the COL is 3 times the national average...When you are paying 8 dollars for a pint of Hagendaz, you know things are out of control!

    I do not know what UNA's position is as far as striking - I know we cannot legally strike, but can we do anything else??? Do we stop filling in the shifts for sick calls and empty lines???? Can someone fill me in?
    Last edit by joey1967 on Apr 13, '07
  13. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Each individual nurse may carry out his/her own work-to-rule campaign by refusing overtime, refusing extra shifts, refusing to do the owrk of other disciplines (answering phones, filling water jugs, stocking bedside carts, filing the millions of chart copies of every document in the world, etc), filing PRCs, filling out overtime slips for missed breaks and leaving late, and anything else that would be legally backed up. BUT... and it's a big but... anything that even remotely looks like an organized effort to work-to-rule will be considered strike action and the government may step in with fines and arrests. The optics of such a move on their part would be bad in the extreme, but when King Ralph was on the throne, he didn't hesitate to remind us that he could and would. In this context, it would seem obvious that any strike vote UNA would consider would be a very serious step, but Heather isn't ruling it out.

    The differences with mediation this time around are that it is voluntary, the mediator is not a government puppet, the two sides are still meeting face-to-face in the presence of the mediator and the external pressure on the employer is much greater than it was three years ago. No one was offering signing bonuses then; the boom (population and economic) was just getting underway; Alberta had a reasonably good contract in comparison to other provinces and bed shortages, code burgundies, ER overcrowding and media attention weren't on the radar yet. That's what the union means when they say they can't accept a four year contract... too much changes and we need to be able to react in a timely manner.

    We have some very shrewd negotiators on our team. One suggestion that came out of our local meeting on the 9th was that nurses on the bubble call LAPP and ask what their monthly pension payments would be if they took retirement this year. Trust me that word would get around if a couple of hundred of us did that. I could suggest that all those nice nursing students who are in the final weeks of practicum and not yet union members are exempt from the media ban, and they could be an effective voice for our side. I had lunch with one such person the other day; I asked her how she'd feel if she accepted a job with Capital Health while negotiations are ongoing, then found out that she was going to be starting at 3% less than the nurse who graduated last year started at, who now would actually be 7+% ahead of her after the proposed 4% increase. The look on her face spoke volumes.

    Talk about all of this where your managers can hear you. They are small potatoes, but they can pass on the message to the bigger potatoes, who then can pass it on to the Head Spuds. The managers in our unit are sweating bullets because of all the talk about leaving for greener pastures. We have more than a few nurses who came here from Saskatchewan when we were the top of the heap, and they have no qualms about going back now that the worm has turned. If I were 25 again and didn't have all the baggage I have, I could live in Saskatchewan for a few years.:hatparty:

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