Agreement for auxiliary nursing care employees

A tentative agreement was made between the bargaining committees for the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) and HBA Services on a four year contract for more than 13,000 auxiliary nursing care employees on June 27.

By Eraina Hooyer

Staff Reporter

A tentative agreement was made between the bargaining committees for the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) and HBA Services on a four year contract for more than 13,000 auxiliary nursing care employees on June 27.

AUPE president Doug Knight is impressed with the agreement and believes it will be met well by auxiliary nursing care employees.

“On the whole, this is a good deal, and I am confident that AUPE’s auxiliary nursing care members will be pleased with the improvement their bargaining teams have achieved for them in this challenging round of negotiations,” said Knight in a press release.

The agreement still has to be signed by both the AUPE members and health employers. The agreement will give a general pay increase of five per cent in the first year, five percent in the second year and 4.5 per cent or the Alberta Average Weekly Earnings, the higher of the two, will be given in each of the third and fourth years.

Also, there will be notable improvements to benefits.

The agreement also gives more than 90 per cent of the employees in the bargaining unit a market adjustment of 10 per cent in the first year for a total first year pay increase of 15 per cent with some groups of employees receiving larger market adjustments.

“The AUPE bargaining committee will be strongly recommending ratification of this agreement to our members,” said union staff negotiator Jim Petrie in a press release. “This provides pay increases we believe our members can support and deals with parity issues between bargaining units.”

Shannon Larkins, spokesperson for Alberta’s health employers is also in favour of encouraging ratification.

“The agreement will let Alberta compete in the market for these valued employees,” said Larkins in a press release. “Our bargaining team will also be recommending ratification by the employers.”

Both parties recognized that the negotiations and subsequent mediation process were challenging but that the agreement will benefit and please both sides.

A deadline has not yet been set for the ratification votes by AUPE members and the employers.