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Rural Capacity Investment Fund

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Relocation Incentive
Patient with Healthcare Nurse

​In 2022, Alberta Health Services (AHS), Covenant Health, Lamont Health Care Centre, the Bethany Group (Camrose) and the United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) agreed to create the Rural Capacity Investment Fund (RCIF) Committee. ​​ The RCIF's mandate is to support retention, recruitment, and relocation initiatives to grow capacity and nursing staff at rural sites.  

Between April 1, 2022, and March 30, 2024, annual funding is available to sustain the workforce in the North, Central and South Zones that are difficult to recruit(Those in the Calgary and Edmonton Zones are not eligible)

FUNDING UPDATE

  • Retention and Recruitment Project Initiatives

    • This was an application process where worksites in the North, Central and South zones could apply for initiative funding.  As of March 1, 2023, the RCIF Retention and Recruitment Project Initiatives application process closed.  Over 250 applications were received

  • $1.29 million was allocated specifically toward 41 project initiative applications.  This process is complete, and those approved have been contacted.  If worksites have not received an approval letter, the application was not funded

  • 2022 Retention Payment 

    • $4.86 million was distributed in May of 2023 to UNA members in the North, Central and South zones who worked between April 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022, and were still employed as of February 17, 2023.

 

  • Relocation Funding

    • To date, $2.2 million has been allocated to employees for the Relocation Expense Reimbursement 

    • $4.7 million for Relocation Incentives - Limited funds are still available. 

    • Managers have until March 1, 2024 at 12:00 pm to make an application

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Relocation Funding

RELOCATION FUNDING

Relocation funding was available for all UNA employees in the bargaining units of AHS, Covenant Health, Bethany (Camrose) and Lamont in the North, Central and South Zones.  (Those in the Calgary and Edmonton Zones are not eligible)

 

Two relocation funding opportunities were available:

  • Relocation Expense Reimbursement

  • Relocation Incentive

 

Both required successful applicants to sign a Return-For-Service Agreement (RFS)

Relocation Incentive

Relocation Expense Reimbursement
Managers have until March 1, 2024 at 12:00 pm to make an application
  • Eligible candidates for the Relocation Incentive include existing and new employees relocating to sites in one of the North, Central and South Zones

  • $10,000 is available for employment relocation for urban sites within the three zones (Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray)

  • $15,000 is available for employment relocation for rural sites within the three zones

  • Current employees must be relocating at least 100 km from their current worksite to the new worksite

  • Successful applicants must sign a 12-month Return for Services (RFS) agreement.  

  • This is available to all full-time, part-time and benefit-eligible casual employees within the UNA bargaining unit

  • This  is a lump sum payment  processed through payroll and is subject to applicable taxes and other required deductions​

RETURN-FOR-SERVICE AGREEMENT - COMMITMENT PERIOD

New Hire

The commitment period is effective on the first day of employment

Retroactive Hire from April 1, 2022                 

The commitment period is effective on the day of signing the RFS Agreement

If you are approved for both relocation funding opportunities     

The commitment periods run consecutively.  Relocation Expense Reimbursement RFS runs first, then followed by the Relocation Incentive RFS

Leave of Absenses

  • Employees were eligible if they are on a leave of absence (LOA)

  • If successful, applicants had to sign a Return-for-Service (RFS) agreement with a commitment period of one year

  • The Commitment period in the RFS begins the day the employee returns to work from their leave and must be started by March 1, 2024, as all RCIF funds must be spent by March 31, 2024.

  • The funding would be released when the employee returns to their permanent position.

Relocation Expense Reimbursement

Applications are now closed
  • Eligible candidates had to be relocating to a rural site in one of the North, Central or South Zones

  • For Relocation Expense Reimbursement, applicants could apply for a maximum of $10,000

  • Employees must submit expenses within six months of signing the RFS or by March 1, 2024, whichever comes first

  • The funding is conditional upon completion of a 12-month Return-For-Service Agreement (RFS) 

  • This was available to all full-time, part-time, benefit-eligible casual and casual employees within the UNA bargaining unit

CLICK HERE to view types of expenses eligible for relocation expense reimbursement

CLICK HERE for the AHS iExpense Quick Reference Guide

RETURN-FOR-SERVICE AGREEMENT - COMMITMENT PERIOD

 

New Hire

The commitment period is effective on the first day of employment

Retroactive Application from April 1, 2022                 

The commitment period is effective on the day of signing the RFS Agreement

If you are approved for both relocation funding opportunities     

The commitment periods run consecutively.  Relocation Expense Reimbursement RFS runs first, then followed by the Relocation Incentive RFS

Leave of Absenses

  • An employee is eligible if they are on a leave of absence (LOA). 

  • Managers can apply based on the eligibility criteria 

  • If successful, applicants must sign a Return-for-Service (RFS) agreement with a commitment period of one year

  • The Commitment period in the RFS begins the day the employee returns to work from their leave and must be started by March 1, 2024, as all RCIF funds must be spent by March 31, 2024.

  • The funding would be released when the employee returns to their permanent position.

Relocation Incentive

Retention Funding

RETENTION FUNDING

Rural/Remote Education/Professional Development Reimbursement

Education/Professional Development Reimbursement

The RCIF Committee has allocated $250,000 to rural and remote sites for Education/Professional Development Reimbursement within the North, Central and South Zones.  The funding will be available until February 29. 2024 or until the money runs out (whichever comes first)

Nurses working in rural and remote communities perform multi-dimensional and complex roles. They require education opportunities that support them in providing the best healthcare possible to rural populations.  However, the location and content of existing education programs often make them inaccessible.

 

This funding is targeted to rural and remote nurses in the North, Central and South zones to address this educational gap and support retention in the rural areas.

There are two funding opportunities:

Individual Application

Applications are now closed

Maximum of $5000 per employee

  • Employees apply and inform the manager of the application

  • Once the RCIF approves the application, employees must submit expenses through iExpense for approval by their manager

  • Employees can apply for education or professional development reimbursement 

  • Employees currently enrolled in educational course(s) or course(s) in an ongoing program may apply

Eligible Employees

  • Members of the UNA bargaining unit

  • Must work in a rural or remote worksite within the North, Central or South Zones 

  • Employed by AHS, Bethany Group (Camrose), Covenant Health and Lamont Health Care Centre

  • Employees currently enrolled in educational course(s) or course(s) in an ongoing program may apply

 

Excluded:  

  • Calgary and Edmonton Zones

  • Urban sites within the three zones - Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Red Deer, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge

  • Completed courses - There is no reimbursement for courses completed. The courses must be in progress or upcoming

  • Eligible employees must work in a rural or remote worksite within the North, Central or South Zones (Calgary and Edmonton Zones are excluded)

  • Urban sites within the three zones are excluded (Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Red Deer, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge)

Regional/Group Application

Maximum $10,000 per application

Applications are now closed

  • Managers in worksites work with employees, local union representatives and potentially other worksites to bring in onsite education/professional development training that may be otherwise difficult for employees to attend

  • Training is targeted toward UNA member's professional development

  • The intent is to collaborate with other worksites to accommodate as many nurses as possible and to ensure shifts are covered

  • If approved, up to a max of $10,000 per training program

Eligible Sites 

  • Rural and remote worksites with the North Central and South Zones

  • Excluded

    • Urban Sites within the North, Central and South Zones (Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Red Deer, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge)

    • Calgary and Edmonton Zones 

How to apply

  • Managers apply with the link below

  • If the site meets the eligibility criteria, it will be accepted

  • Managers will sign a project agreement and provide an evaluation of the program

Rural/Remote Mileage Reimbursment

Mileage Reimbursement
Applications are now closed

The RCIF Committee funded rural and remote sites for Mileage Reimbursement within the North, Central and South Zones.  The funding has been fully allocated.

Eligible sites

  • Rural and Remote Worksites within the North, Central or South Zones (Calgary and Edmonton Zones are excluded)

​Excluded

  • Urban Sites within the North, Central and South Zones (Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Red Deer, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge)

  • Calgary and Edmonton Zones 

Eligible Employees 

  • Employees must live a minimum of 50 km one way from their worksite (no exceptions)

  • Permanent and temporary employees who are casual, benefit-eligible casual, part-time and full-time

  • Employees must be part of the UNA bargaining unit (RN's only) and employed by AHS, Covenant Health, Lamont or the Bethany Group (Camrose)

Maximum funding per employee

  • Max: $1000/employee/month

  • 50.5 cents/km for travel before December 01, 2023

  • 55.0 cents/km for travel after December 01, 2023

2022 Retention Payment

2022 Retention Payment

  • In early spring, $4.86 million was disbursed as a retention payment to all UNA employees in the bargaining units of AHS, Covenant Health, Bethany(Camrose) and Lamont in the North, Central and South Zones.  (Those in the Calgary and Edmonton Zones are not eligible)

  • The RCIF Committee sees this payment as a way to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of nurses within the three zones

 

  • Eligible employees were those who worked between April 1 - December 31, 2022, and who were still employed as of ​February 17, 2023

Contact

For information, please contact us at
admin@rcif-alberta.ca

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