Dear Members

You may have heard rumours that AASUA will require academics who work as physicians for AHS to go on strike.  As well, you may have heard rumours that the AASUA would lock out physicians from their AHS clinics located on campus. Neither of these are true.

We wish to dispel these rumours and reassure our academic physicians that AASUA will not stand in the way of your continuing to teach Residents in the hospital or clinical settings, even though this teaching may be part of your academic teaching responsibilities under the collective agreement. The AASUA recognizes that your obligations to supervise Residents, which includes teaching, is an integral part of patient care delivery and that your ethical obligations are to patients first. AASUA will not ask you to withdraw any academic teaching which may be a term of your independent contractual obligations with AHS, as this would create unnecessary suffering and turmoil for our academic clinicians, and for the patients that you care for, especially during this pandemic.

We also recognize that to withdraw your academic labour could significantly affect nationally accredited Royal College PGME programs.

Unions have the right to determine which labour is withdrawn; this is known as “limited strike action”.

The AASUA does not want to, in any way, affect patient care, and we understand that teaching while supervising your Residents in the hospital or clinical setting is vitally important to this care. As well, we understand that withdrawing any academic teaching of Residents under your supervision could pose a serious risk to your professional license. The AASUA will not, in any way, create that risk to your professional reputation and licensing status.

Therefore, please be assured, that in the event that the AASUA calls for strike action, the AASUA will not stand in the way of your continuing to teach Residents in the hospitals.

Further, the AASUA has no jurisdiction regarding your ability to access your clinical offices on campus.  Access to your clinics on the University campus is solely in the discretion of the Employer. Only the Employer can decide to lock academic physicians out of their clinics.

We suggest that you contact the Alberta Medical Association for further assistance or advice regarding your responsibilities with AHS.

Tim Mills

AASUA President