EDMONTON — The Alberta government is backing down from demanding salary cuts from nurses.
But the nurses’ union says the province still wants concessions, including an end to lump-sum payments, which amount to a two per cent reduction to their take-home pay.
Finance Minister Travis Toews says in a statement that the province has changed its bargaining position with the United Nurses of Alberta to reflect its appreciation for nurses while still recognizing the government’s financial challenges.
The government had sought an immediate three per cent pay cut along with other rollbacks to bring nurses' wages in line with other jurisdictions.
But over the weekend the province changed its position to a three-year wage freeze, followed by one per cent salary hikes in each of the final two years of a proposed five-year deal.
The negotiations come as the province struggles with a fourth wave of COVID-19 that is swamping its health system and filling intensive care wards to dangerous levels.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 8, 2021.
The Canadian Press