Joint Statement: COVID-19 and Personal Protective Equipment

HSAA’s number one concern during this COVID-19 pandemic is the safety of our members. We recognize that your regular rate of risk may be heightened at this time. The procedures that have been put in place, along with the equipment that is supplied to you is there for your protection. We urge you to follow procedure and use the equipment. It is your best line of defence.

You can be proud of your staff who have been working tirelessly these last few weeks on your behalf. Our Workplace Health, Safety & Wellness experts have been working with our employers and other unions to address concerns in these times.

Along with our colleagues in the Alberta Union of Public Employees (AUPE) and the United Nurses of Alberta (UNA), we have reached an agreement with Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Covenant Health regarding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), included below.

We want to emphasize for you that currently there is no shortage of PPE in Alberta. In our agreement, should supply ever run low, AHS, Covenant and the unions will work jointly to address the situation. If a procedure, in your professional opinion, requires the use of PPE and you are denied by a supervisor, you may request to be deployed otherwise.

Finally, let me once again thank you for your service to Albertans in this unprecedented time. Your professional expertise is one of the few things that is providing stability for an otherwise uncertain population. Take care of yourselves, both physically and mentally. Don’t forget to access your EFAP if you’re feeling stressed.

And, as always, HSAA is there for you to support you with any work issues. Our Members’ Resource Centre remains up and running (1-844-280-4722) and our Labour Relations staff are on stand-by waiting to assist you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

AHS, Covenant Health, and three major health care unions agree to joint statement on Personal Protective Equipment use during COVID-19 pandemic

EDMONTON – Alberta Health Services (AHS), the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE), Covenant Health (CH), the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA), and United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) have reached a joint agreement on the safe and effective use of personal protection equipment (PPE) in our collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employers and unions share the common goal of protecting the health and safety of health care workers. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that the appropriate steps are taken to protect the health and safety of all health care workers while they provide high quality care to Albertans and prevent exposure to and transmission of COVID-19. It is critical to ensure that appropriate PPE is used by all staff and physicians, while also preserving supplies of specialized equipment for when they are required to provide care safely.

Under the joint agreement, we agree that a risk assessment must be conducted for every patient interaction to ensure front-line health care workers have the specific PPE they need. As partners in the response to COVID-19, we trust our front-line health care teams to make appropriate and clinically sound decisions.
While there is currently not a shortage of supply of PPE in our province, AHS, Covenant Health, and the unions will work together to regularly assess the supply of PPE and the employers will continue to take action to ensure an adequate supply.
All parties are committed to continuing to work together to address issues and solve problems as they arise.

We remain grateful for the dedication and commitment of all health care teams during this challenging time.

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For Media Inquiries:
To speak to HSAA President Mike Parker, please contact Kirk Heuser, Communications Officer, 780-690-8199

Kerry Williamson, Communications, AHS, 780-905-5890

To speak to AUPE President Guy Smith, please contact Terry Inigo-Jones, Communications Officer, 403-831-4394

Leah Janzen, Director of Communications, Covenant Health, 780-717-0454

Heather Smith, President, UNA, 780-940-997