Richard Froese
South Peace News

Nurses at High Prairie Health Complex set up information pickets Aug. 11 to share concerns about government action with health care.

Members of the United Nurses of Alberta held Day of Action across Alberta to send a message to the Alberta government on issues in the public healthcare system.

“Our main message is to motivate people to contact their local MLA and provincial government and tell them Alberta nurses deserve to be treated with respect,” says Jan Robinson, president of the UNA Local 17, which covers High Prairie hospital, acute care, emergency room and J.B. Wood Continuing-Care Centre.

“We hope our information pickets will encourage the public to support us in our struggle to achieve fairness.”

The UNA set up information pickets to draw attention to its current contract negotiations with Alberta Health Services which is calling for a 3 per cent rollback in wages, which when combined with other monetary rollbacks, equals a 5 per cent cut in wages.

That comes after several years of zero wage increases.

Pickets also pushed the issue of bed shortages in several hospitals.

“The north and rural Alberta have always been especially affected by staffing shortages,” says Robinson, who has worked at the High Prairie hospital for 40 years, mostly in the emergency department.

Hospitals in High Prairie, McLennan, Slave Lake and Peace River have all had to close beds and/or services because of lack of staff, she says.

“It is heartbreaking for us when we have to transfer our local residents to other facilities when we do not have beds available,” Robinson says.

This item is reprinted with permission from the High Prairie, AB, South Peace News. For the complete article, click HERE

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