February 16, 2018 4:38 pm

Alberta nurses ratify deal that includes wage freeze, job security

A nurse walks down a hallway at Calgary's former Grace Hospital, which is now a private health care facility, Wednesday, Jan 12, 2005.

Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press/File

The United Nurses of Alberta says its members have ratified a new contract with the province that includes a two-year wage freeze and job security.

Union president Heather Smith says the contract recognizes the reality of the economic climate in Alberta.

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READ MORE: Alberta reaches tentative deal with nurses that would impose 2-year wage freeze

The agreement covers about 28,000 registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses.

The three-year agreement will run retroactive from April 2017 to March 31, 2020, and includes a wage re-opening provision in the third year.

The union says it expects the agreement will be ratified by Alberta Health Services later Friday.

READ MORE: United Nurses of Alberta recommend new deal, set Feb. 15 for vote on contract

Alberta is facing a $10.3-billion deficit this year, and Finance Minister Joe Ceci has asked public-sector unions to consider zero wage increases while the province works to keep front-line jobs.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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