and cutbacks in the 1990s: thousands of nurses laid off
of Health's plan to restructure the entire health delivery system
in the province in the 1990s caused a great deal of concern for UNA.
The government wanted widespread changes with "regionalization".
Which unions would represent merged staffs? Which collective agreement
would apply? How would seniority work? Things really kicked into gear
in 1993 when the new Premier, Ralph Klein, announced a retroactive
funding cut for health care--the overall intention was to cut $1 billion
dollars from health care funding over the next four years.
acted differently in regard to the cutbacks. Some immediately started
laying off nurses, others replaced nursing positions with less qualified
(and therefore cheaper) classifications. One of the worksites apparently
told nurses to put Patient Hostess on their name tag, rather than RN. Attempts
were made to sort this all out before the next round of negotiations
by getting the government, health care employers and the health care
unions to sit down and discuss the implications of the rollbacks and
to come up with some solutions.
the huge cuts in budgets had grave consequences. Thousands of nurses
were laid off. Most of them left the province,
many to the United States. A whole generation of nurses was lost to
the Alberta health system. Other health employees numbers were also
worked closely with the AARN and the Staff Nurses Association to come
up with a united front on the proposed changes to the health care system.
A health care rally in October of 1993 was organized in conjunction with
the Alberta Federation of Labour and the United for Social Justice groups,
helping to present a united front to the media.
"Never enough time"
"Nurses impacted dramatically by cuts"
"Alberta makes dramatic health cuts in the 1990s"