Health-care union members vote to accept tentative wage deal with Alberta Health Services

·2 min read
Health Sciences Association of Alberta president Mike Parker says the deal falls short of what is required for members to deal with inflationary pressures. (Health Sciences Association of Alberta - image credit)
Health Sciences Association of Alberta president Mike Parker says the deal falls short of what is required for members to deal with inflationary pressures. (Health Sciences Association of Alberta - image credit)

A tentative agreement between the Health Sciences Association of Alberta and Alberta Health Services was passed by 85 per cent of members who voted on the four-year deal.

The agreement, which runs from April 1 to March 31, 2024, gives the 20,000 members who work for AHS a 4.25 per cent increase over four years.

The pay raises breakdown to a one per cent increase retroactive to October 2021, 1.25 per cent on Sept. 1, 2022 and two per cent on April 1, 2023.

The agreement falls short of the wage increases the HSAA bargaining committee was asking for: 2.6 per cent the first year, 4.2 per cent the second year, 4.7 per cent in the third year and around 3.7 per cent in the fourth year.

The union represents ambulance paramedics, respiratory therapists, social workers, speech language pathologists and other health-care workers.

AHS negotiators had been asking for wage rollbacks – as much as 11 per cent for pharmacy technicians and social workers and eight per cent for respiratory therapists.

The union said speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, health information management workers, therapy assistants, diagnostic sonographers, pharmacists, physiotherapists, dieticians and advanced care paramedics had faced potential salary rollbacks ranging from nearly nine per cent to 0.28 per cent.

HSAA president Mike Parker says the deal falls short of what is required for members to deal with inflationary pressures.

"It does not reflect the current economy in this country. It does not reflect the sacrifices our members have given to this province," he said.

"But in the end our membership has chosen to focus on the task at hand, that's taking care of Albertans."

The tentative deal was reached at the end of June following a recommendation from a mediator.

The AHS board still needs to approve the agreement, which is expected at its board meeting on Thursday.

Neither the health authority nor the government will comment until then.

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