'The ALRB needs to go through its processes to decide when the change of union representation would occur.' - Elisabeth Ballermann.
Edmonton (31 March 2009) - The Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE) will press at a meeting this week for an "expeditious decision" by the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) on the transfer of union representation for approximately 1,000 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel across the province.
A meeting is scheduled this week by parties that are affected to deal with the issue.
"The ALRB needs to go through its processes to decide when the change of union representation would occur," says HSAA president Elisabeth Ballermann. "We have been advocating to get that decision made as quickly as possible, to provide certainty to those EMS professionals impacted by the provincial government’s recent decision."
Hector Goudreau, Alberta's employment and immigration minister, recently announced that more than 1,000 EMS personnel will be moved into the existing Paramedical Professional and Technical (PRT) unit, which is currently represented by HSAA.
"While we’re aware of the need for some finality regarding this issue, these delays are out of our hands," Ballermann notes, adding that a challenge to the ministerial order is being made by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and that HSAA's hands are tied until legal issues are resolved.
"Assuming the transfer to HSAA proceeds, we would then commence the process of achieving standardized terms and conditions of employment for these EMS employees," Ballermann says.
"At our end, HSAA will do everything within our means to minimize disruption to these members and to wind up with the best possible collective agreement provisions. We have found that the combination of member participation (in this case EMS workers) and professional negotiators creates a powerful synergy at the bargaining table."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE
HSAA will represent paramedics across Alberta