“Once again, I would like to thank Alberta’s nurses for their hard work – our province is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic in large part because of their skills and dedication to patient care.

“That’s why I’m pleased to hear that Alberta Health Services (AHS) is making an individual application to Mediation Services so that the parties can begin informal mediation.

“Last week, the UNA bargaining committee rejected a proposed joint application for informal mediation.

“Instead of letting negotiations stall, AHS is actively working towards a new collective agreement that meets the needs of all Albertans, and will bring long-term labour stability to the health care system.

“Informal mediation is a critical part of the negotiations process. Seven of the last eight collective agreements between AHS and UNA – including the agreement in 2017 – were reached in mediation.

“We remain confident that this round of informal mediation will be just as productive, and will allow the two parties to work collaboratively towards a deal. 

“I urge both parties to continue to work together in good faith as they explore settlement options that respect the work of Alberta’s nurses and the financial pressures our province is facing.”