November 25, 2020
As you are all aware, November 25, 2020 was the one year deadline
that the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) gave the government
to address the issue that exclusion of Nurse Practitioners was a
violation of the Charter of Rights.
The Alberta Government’s response was to amend the Regional
Health Authority Collective Bargaining Regulation (RHACBR) and to
proclaim the Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act 2020
which came into effect on October 30, 2020.
By doing this, the Alberta Government has established that Nurse
Practitioners are not only employees within the meaning of that term
in the Labour Relations Code, but now also have their own bargaining
unit under the RHACBR. This fulfills the government’s obligation to
the breach of our charter rights. “Bargaining Unit” refers to the group
of employees who have the right to independent bargaining and
negotiation. Most bargaining units have adopted bargaining agents,
usually a union organization, to represent them to government and
This is a historic decision and we believe a great “win” for Nurse
Practitioners in Alberta. However, there remain logistical challenges
in how this change is realized. The new amendments to the RHACBR
specifically state that the typical process in the Regulation for
determining a bargaining agent for each bargaining unit (sections 3-
13) do not apply to Nurse Practitioners. It is not clear what process
the Alberta Government expects NPAA to use in order to become the
accepted bargaining agent for Nurse Practitioners. We are currently
in the process of consulting with our lawyers and the Labour Ministry
regarding the best next steps.
This process may result in a need for a vote from our members once
options are determined.
Meanwhile, I urge all members to keep this information as limited as
possible and not discuss outside of the NPAA membership. It is still
unclear if the government’s actions will negate the second part of the
Determination Hearing, or if UNA will still choose to, or are even able
to, oppose this. NPAA would like to complete a thorough assessment
with our lawyers and government before going public in any way.
I want to thank all members for their patience and support during the
past year while NPAA works hard to have this issue resolved once
and for all. Our hope is that once the process is complete it will give
the NPAA the power and recognition to be able to negotiate for NPs
anywhere in Alberta, with any employer, government department or
Once we have a list of possible options we will reach out again to
members for consultation .
Again, on behalf of the board of directors of NPAA, thank you for your
support. If you have any questions please direct them to
firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to answer them.
Together we are stronger!
Mary-Elizabeth Cooper – NPAA President