Devonshire Nurses Ratify their First Agreement and End the Strike

Members of UNA Local 417 at their unofficial strike headquarters, celebrate their Memorandum of Agreement to end their strike against the owners of Devonshire Care Centre.

United Nurses of Alberta members employed at the Devonshire Care Centre in Edmonton overwhelmingly ratified their first collective agreement on the afternoon of January 17, 2013, in a vote near their workplace. The three-year agreement included pay raises of 4 percent in the first year, 3 percent in the second year, and 3 percent in the third year, which brought wages paid to Registered Nurses employed at the South Edmonton long-term care centre up to parity with UNA’s 2012 provincial wage rates. This first agreement for the members of UNA Local 417 also included shift differential pay equivalent to that paid at another Edmonton facility operated by the same employer and improvements in long-service pay and leave, Smith said. “This now provides a solid base to build on for future agreements and gives our members at Devonshire Care mechanisms to advocate for themselves and the residents they care for.”

“All UNA members should be very proud of these courageous nurses, who stuck together in a difficult struggle and showed real grit to win this fair first agreement.”

Heather Smith, UNA President

The nurses’ employer also ratified the agreement, which was reached with the assistance of a provincially appointed mediator. The ratification vote by UNA nurses brings to an end the strike that began New Year’s Eve. Both negotiating teams had recommended ratification of the collective agreement.