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NPAA Updates on Alberta Labour Relations Board

NPAA Updates on Alberta Labour Relations Board

August 31, 2017:  The Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta (NPAA) sent a letter to the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services formally requesting to be the representative and negotiating body for Nurse Practitioners (NPs) in Alberta.  No response has been received regarding same at this time.

April 5, 2018: United of Nurses of Alberta (UNA) files an application for determination on behalf of Ms. Jessica Wakeford to the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB), Board File No. GE-07762,  impacting NPs employed by Alberta Health Services. The Labour Board has also provided notice of the UNA application to the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE).  

See below under frequently asked questions a summary of UNAs application to the ALRB.

April 6, 2018: The NPAA wrote a letter to Ms. Heather Smith and the ALRB expressing the NPAAs concerns regarding the lack of NP and NPAA consultation prior to UNA’s application. Letters were also sent to key stakeholders including Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services.

April 12, 2018: The NPAA president, Teddie Tanguay, met with UNA president, Ms. Heather Smith, and Mr. David Harrigan regarding the application.  UNA suggested at this time that the NPAA seek intervenor status.

April 14, 2018: NPAA Annual General Meeting is held at Sutton Place Hotel, Edmonton. Motion from the floor is unanimously carried mandating the Board of Directors to “move forward with legal pursuits related to intervenor status and as the representative for negotiations regarding collective bargaining”.

April 18, 2018: UNA releases an update stating that UNA does not believe that the NPAA can bethe bargaining representatives for NPsin Alberta.

April 18, 2018: Based on legal counsel, NPAA president, Ms. Teddie Tanguay, responds to UNA’s statement regarding NPAA’s ability to be bargaining representative of NPs in Alberta, stating that there are many possible opportunities that can flow from a successful Charter challenge. NPAA also advises members that the ALRB has granted an extension to the proceedings until May 7, 2018.

April 27, 2018: NPAA petition is due to NPAA secretary. By signing this petition, NPs are affirming their support for the motion passed at the AGM.  NPs and NP students are encouraged to sign.

May 2, 2018: NPAA files application for full intervenor status to the Alberta Labour Relations Board.  Members may access the application here

May 7, 2018: Application deadline for intervenor status application per the ALRB.

September, 2018: 

  • The Labour Board has ruled that the UNA’s case will be bifurcated into separate issues.  This means that the question – Has Bill 37 violated NP’s right to freedom of association under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? – will be heard and ruled on first. Dates for proceedings are being determined.
  • Intervenor status has been granted to the Faculty of Nursing Deans from the University of Alberta, University of Calgary and Athabasca University.

February, 2019:

  • Hearings regarding Bill 27 and whether it is a violation of NP’s right to associate under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom began this February where evidence was submitted by UNA.

March, 2019:

  • Written submissions from all parties have been submitted as of March 20, 2019.

April, 2019:

  • The final hearing was held April 8 and 9 where evidence was submitted, witnesses cross examined and the summation of the cases.
  • Following this hearing, the Labour board will deliberate and NPAA will wait for a verdict on the ruling. The lawyer for NPAA does not feel this will occur until May or June.
  • If the Alberta Labour Board rules that there is no violation of our Charter of rights the case ends  and we will go back to the way we have been structured all along.
  • The lawyer representing NPAA believes that the labour board will rule there IS a violation of NPs right to freedom of association and the charter of rights have been violated by prohibiting NPs from organizing.
  • If this is the case, then the hearing to determine who will represent NPs will proceed likely in the Fall of 2019.


What does the application to the Labour Board mean?

The application to the Alberta Labour Relations Board by UNA has two parts.

    1. Firstly, UNA raises a constitutional challenge in their application, alleging that Alberta Bill 27 legislation, established in 2003, prohibiting NPs from joining a union violates Nurse Practitioner’s freedom of association.  As such, UNA claims that the sections of the Alberta Labour Code that prohibits NPs from the right to unionize breaches section 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  1. Secondly, if this constitutional challenge is successful –  UNA has applied for a determination that NPs, employed by Alberta Health Services, become members of UNAs bargaining unit. As per UNA certificate 73-2013 at the ALRB, UNA represents “all employees when employed in direct nursing care or nursing instruction”.  This certificate currently includes registered nurses (RNs) and registered psychiatric nurses (RPNs) who provide direct nursing care and/or nursing instruction. UNA seeks a declaration that NPs in AHS doing direct nurse care or nursing instruction are to be included in the UNA’s bargaining unit. Further, UNA states that prior to Bill 27, NPs belonged to UNA’s collective agreement.  As such, NPs should immediately and automatically be absorbed by UNA. There would be no requirement for a vote by AHS employed NPs based on UNA’s arguments.

How can one NP’s application determine the fate of all the NPs in Alberta?

Because the basis of this challenge is a constitutional challenge, all that was required was one application. Currently, the UNA application only speaks to NPs employed by Alberta Health Services. 

What is NPAA’s position with respect to UNA representing AHS NPs?

NPAA believes that Nurse Practitioners should represent Nurse Practitioners.  NPAA believes that as an association, we should be the primary representative for NPs at the Labour Board hearing.

What does full intervenor status mean ?

By obtaining full intervenor status, the NPAA would represent NPs at the Labour Board hearing. Full intervenor status allows the NPAA to challenge the above identified second part of the application and includes the ability to participate in hearing by presenting evidence, and cross-examining witnesses.

What happens on May 7, 2018?

This is the deadline per the Alberta Labour Relations Board for intervenor status. The NPAA and the legal counsel must make the application by this date.

Then what happens?

The ALRB will review the application based on its two parts and make determinations. There is no date for their response.

What can I do?

The NPAA has a petition stating that “The Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta (NPAA) is representing me in the Labour Relations Issue #GE-07762”.  NPs and NP students who would like to sign the petition are encourage to contact the NPAA at You do not need to be a member of NPAA to sign the petition.  The NPAA is asking that all petitions be completed and signed by April 27, 2018.

What else can I do?

We encourage NPs and student NPs to join NPAA.

What if I am not a member of NPAA and I want to comment to the ALRB?

AHS Employees who wish to make a statement to the ALRB about this application must do so in writing (RE: GE-07762), and including name, address and telephone number.  Further, it must include the names of the trade union and employer and a detailed statement about what one would want the ALRB to consider. As per recent extensions, this information must be provided to the ARLB board by May 7, 2018.

How can I see updated correspondence between NPAA and members?

NPAA members will receive emailed correspondence.  If you are an NPAA member and not receiving updated correspondence, please email to resolve this issue.  

NPAA members can view all NPAA correspondence in the “NPAA Newsletter Correspondence” which can be found under the “Members” tab.  We encourage NPAA members to share this correspondence. To directly access the “NPAA Newsletter Correspondence” please use the following link:

Who is on the NPAA Board of Directors?

Teddie Tanguay: NPAA President

Jared Friesen: Director of Stakeholder Affairs

Faisal Kassam: Treasurer

Emily Thiessen: Director of Education

Sandra Van Hecke: Secretary

Mary-Elizabeth Cooper: Director of Stakeholder Affairs

Krista Rawson: Director

Rosa Reyes: Director

To see further details regarding the NPAA board please use the following link:

How can I contact the NPAA regarding my questions and concerns?

Please contact the NPAA via email at We welcome feedback.

How can I expect the ALRB process to proceed?

The ALRB requests that all applications in relation to Board File No. GE-07762 be submitted by May 7, 2018.

In regards to detailed information regarding the ALRB process, see the below ARLB Bulletins and links:

Information Bulletin #2 Processing Applications, Complaints and References –  Outlines how to file application and ARLB procedures.

Information Bulletin #4 Location and Conduct of Board Hearings  -Outlines details of Board Hearings.

Information Bulletin #22 Determinations – Outlines procedures used by the ARLB to determine whom falls under the Alberta’s labour relations legislation and the procedures to determine whom falls within a particular bargaining unit.

How can I contact the ALRB to get information regarding the ALRB process?

If you have questions regarding the application GE-07762, please contact  Mr. Dan Galdamez, Labour Relations Officer (780-427-0067). Mr. Galdamez is the Board Officer assigned to the file.  Please quote the file number in your communication.

When will the next update be?

NPAA is working diligently to keep its members appraised of the developments. We will continue to update our members by email and update this webpage.