- Alberta Needs Nurses

Alberta’s nurses are asking for significant pay increases – they’re worth it, and our health care system depends on it

It’s no secret there’s a crisis in the health care workforce in Alberta, in Canada, and around the world.

Yet Alberta nurses’ pay has fallen behind the cost of living, behind nurses working in other provinces, and far behind the temporary contract nurses from outside Alberta brought here to fill the gaps.

At the same time, inflation in Alberta is higher than the national average. Alberta remains among the most expensive places in Canada to live and work.

So, when government officials and employers say we can’t afford to pay Alberta’s nurses what they’re worth, they need to remember, we can’t afford not to!

This is why Alberta’s nurses are demanding significant pay increases in their current negotiations for a new collective agreement between UNA and Alberta’s major health care employers.

Employers and government officials talk about how much they respect front-line health care workers, especially nurses. Now is the time for them to acknowledge that respect requires fair pay.

The market makes it clear Alberta’s nurses are paid too little at a time when a worldwide and national shortage of the highly skilled nurses UNA represents means we have to compete for nurses with every province and territory in Canada. If Alberta wants to keep the nurses we’ve got and get new ones to come and work here to ensure safe patient care, we must show nurses the respect they deserve in negotiations.

Let’s build a health care system that attracts nurses from throughout Canada and around the world, instead of driving them away.

For Alberta’s nurses, respect is not negotiable. Yes, Alberta’s nurses are asking for significant pay increases. They’re worth it. And our health care system depends on it.