Settlement reached at southwest Edmonton seniors home

Healthcare workers at Revera Riverbend Retirement home reached a collective agreement Tuesday more than four months after they went on strike in June.

Healthcare workers at a southwest Edmonton seniors home reached a collective agreement Tuesday two months after the province declared the strike a public emergency.

"The agreement delivers improved benefits, and wages that are in line with the industry standard at seniors facilities across the province," said Alberta Union of Provincial Employees negotiator Dale Perry in a press release.

The four-month dispute between Revera Riverbend Retirement Living and 80 licensed practical nurses, health care aides and support staff was resolved with the help of arbitrator David Jones.

Two months after the workers went on strike, the dispute was declared a public emergency by Human Services Minister David Hancock.

CBC News reported an elderly patient died when her requests to call an ambulance went unheeded.

The province concluded the woman received adequate care.

However Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk said the province decided to intervene when an inspection found deterioration in the quality of care, particularly in charting and medication, which he attributed to a high turnover of replacement workers.

The province ended the strike and referred the dispute to binding arbitration.