Alberta Health and HSAA ratify new four-year labor agreement at 4.25%


“We would like to thank the staff at HSAA and the healthcare teams they work with for their exceptional work and dedication to serving Albertans”

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The ink is now dry on a new collective agreement that will see many members of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) earn 4.125% more in four years.

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Now ratified, the agreement covers 20,000 of HSAA’s 29,000 Alberta Health Service (AHS) employees, is retroactive to April 1, 2020, and expires March 31, 2024.

Mauro Chies, interim president and CEO of AHS, thanked the bargaining teams for working “tirelessly” for months to make the new collective agreement a reality.

« We extend our thanks to the staff at HSAA and the healthcare teams they work with for their exceptional work and dedication to serving Albertans, » he said in a press release Thursday afternoon.

According to the release, AHS and HSAA « have agreed to work together to address recruitment and retention in remote and rural communities in Alberta. »

A tentative agreement was announced on July 27.

The sides were separated by double-digits when they began talks in March: AHS had offered pay cuts in a number of professions, including an 11% reduction for pharmacy technicians and social workers , and Health Minister Jason Copping claimed the series of improvements sought by the union represented a 15 per cent increase over the life of the AC.

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HSAA President Mike Parker told Postmedia on Tuesday that the latest deal represents only a small increase.

“This contract does not show the gratitude for the work that has been done in the sacrifices made by our frontline health care over the past two years,” he said.

The agreement includes a 1% salary increase retroactive to October 1, 2021 and increases of 1.25% on September 1, 2022 and 2% on April 1, 2023.

Parker said the deal also included progress on benefits and other work-life balance provisions, including a new mental health support program.

He also noted what he described as an « unprecedented » level of government involvement in the negotiations.

The government was due to comment later on Thursday, after the contract was ratified.

– With files by Lisa Johnson


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