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Alberta finance minister, health provider want to cut pay to nurses

Last Updated Jul 7, 2021 at 8:25 pm MDT

EDMONTON – Alberta’s finance minister says the province’s health provider wants wages of nurses to be cut by three per cent to help control spending.

Alberta Health Services is asking for the pay cut as part of ongoing contract negotiations with the United Nurses of Alberta.

In a statement, Travis Toews says the province needs to get its finances “back on track” as it moves beyond the pandemic.

The union says a rollback on top of other demands by AHS — including reduced shift and weekend premiums — would result in an overall wage reduction of five per cent.

Toews praises the role of nurses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but says they make 5.6 per cent more than in other provinces used as comparisons.

He says the last 16 months have put a considerable strain on the province, following already high levels of debt and deficit.