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Question: What is Bill 27?

Answer: The Government of Alberta introduced Bill 27 on March 11. The Bill is an Act to amend the Alberta Labour Code and is aimed at streamlining union representation and the number of collective agreements covering the employees of Regional Health Authority. There are to be four bargaining units covering all unionized employees in each Regional Health Authority. Currently there are over 400 bargaining certificates and many collective agreements. After September 2004 there will be 36 collective agreements, four in each RHA. Bargaining units will be defined by occupation. The few units being nursing, auxiliary nursing, professional and technical and general support services.

The Legislation also takes the right to strike away from employees in the community health sector.

The Legislation only affects employees of Regional Health Authorities. It does not affect employees of long-term care facilities or the Caritas facility in Edmonton.

Question: What does this mean for CUPE members in health care?

Answer: This means that most CUPE members will have to vote for the union to represent them at the bargaining table. The process for determining when votes will be held and under what conditions will be determined in the Regulations. The process for selecting the collective agreement covering the newly created bargaining units is also to be determined in the Regulations. However, the Chair of the Alberta Labour Board will be given power to set the terms and conditions of collective agreements.

Question: When will all of this happen?

Answer: The government has put a timeframe for votes and collective agreement selection between April 1, 2003 and September 2004.

Question: Where can I get more information?

Answer: Contact your National Representative in your area CUPE office, speak with your Local Union Executive and attend CUPE information meetings that will be held in the coming months.