Profile: Lee McNiven graduated from nursing in Ontario before moving to Michigan to find work. She chose to relocate to Alberta because she was impressed with the UNA contract of 1979.
McNiven started at the Calgary General Hospital and became involved with the union from the time she started work there. At the time of her interview McNiven was vice-president of Local 121, Colonel Belcher Hospital, in Calgary. She is proud of the solidarity of UNA members and their willingness to take strike votes even when the provincial government has legislated against that possibility.
When the Alberta Labour Relations Board ruled that it was not possible to vote on site, nurses from her local voted in her trailer on the street. McNiven believes that UNA’s emphasis on Professional Responsibility Concerns (PRCs) and on fair treatment of nurses has worked to the benefit of patients in Alberta. The union has also ensured that patient lives are not risked during strikes while insisting on the involvement of UNA in determining what services are essential.
Keywords: Calgary General Hospital, Colonel Belcher Hospital, Essential services during strikes, Local Executive, Nursing strikes in Alberta, Professional Responsibility Concerns (PRCs).
Transcript: Download PDF