Alberta nurses take aim at code of conduct

Health authority's code 'condescending': Union
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 07/27/2009

The union representing Alberta nurses has filed a grievance against the provincial health authority's new code of conduct.

The Alberta Health Services' new code states employees - including nurses, doctors and pharmacists - can't publicly say anything negative about the organization.

"As a representative of Alberta Health Services, which you are by virtue of your role within the organization, it is important to exercise caution at all times and to choose your words carefully when engaging in any form of public speaking," states the code, which is posted on the health authority's website.

In its grievance, the United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) called the wording of the code "condescending" and redundant since nurses already have their own code of ethics.

The code could also keep employees from speaking out against the organization, said David Harrigan, director of labour relations for UNA.

The union is also concerned about a section of the code that calls on employees to report colleagues' suspicious activities, seemingly encouraging employees to spy on each other, said Harrigan.

"If you have any reasonable suspicious that a fellow employee's conduct violates the code of conduct, you also have an obligation to report this to your supervisor," states the code.

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