Alberta’s nurses have overwhelmingly ratified a new collective bargaining agreement.
The vote was 87 per cent in favour of a four-year deal that includes a 4.25 per cent pay bump over the course of the contract.
Heather Smith, president of the United Nurses of Alberta, calls it a fair deal for her members and for the public.
The vote closes the book on what the union has termed some of the most contentious and bruising negotiations in its history.
Premier Jason Kenney’s government had been seeking wage cuts and other contract rollbacks from nurses, arguing that Alberta’s nurses were paid more than those in other jurisdictions and that a tight budget required concessions.
At one point, Finance Minister Travis Toews suggested nurses were putting their needs ahead of their patients’ by pushing to resume collective bargaining during the COVID-19 pandemic.
—The Canadian Press