Alberta Minister of Finance Travis Toews delivers the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Alberta nurses ratify contract that includes 4.25 per cent wage increase

Vote was 87 per cent in favour of a four-year deal

Alberta’s nurses have overwhelmingly ratified a new collective bargaining agreement.

The vote was 87 per cent in favour of a four-year deal that includes a 4.25 per cent pay bump over the course of the contract.

Heather Smith, president of the United Nurses of Alberta, calls it a fair deal for her members and for the public.

The vote closes the book on what the union has termed some of the most contentious and bruising negotiations in its history.

Premier Jason Kenney’s government had been seeking wage cuts and other contract rollbacks from nurses, arguing that Alberta’s nurses were paid more than those in other jurisdictions and that a tight budget required concessions.

At one point, Finance Minister Travis Toews suggested nurses were putting their needs ahead of their patients’ by pushing to resume collective bargaining during the COVID-19 pandemic.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Alberta registered nurses to vote on four-year deal with pay hike of 4.25 per cent

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