United Nurses of Alberta have reached an agreement with Alberta Health Services to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (NDTR) as a Named Holiday.
The federal statutory holiday, first marked last year, was created to give Canadians an opportunity to honour the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.
However, while it applied to all federal employees and workers in federally regulated workplaces, the Government of Alberta refused to recognize the holiday for employees of provincially regulated industries, leaving it to individual employers to decide.
Despite language in UNA’s Provincial Collective Agreement stating that any holiday recognized by the Government of Canada will apply, AHS and Covenant Health initially refused to recognize the statutory holiday for their employees, although some long-term care operators agreed to recognize it.
UNA filed grievances with the employers to resolve this issue.
The decision, outlined in a letter from AHS dated April 29, represents a settlement to a UNA province-wide grievance regarding the Employer’s failure to recognize NDTR as a Named Holiday effective September 30, 2021.
UNA will continue to work with other employers to ensure that they recognize the day as a Named Holiday.