Framing Unions and Nurses

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Union communication and framing are important for how union members, as well as how unions as organizations, are represented. In the context of declining union density and therefore fewer direct union members, unions’ daily communication material on social media may be one of the most common interactions people have with unions. This case study focuses on United Nurses of Alberta, the union for most registered nurses in Alberta, Canada, where unionization rates are among the lowest in Canada. This case study shows how United Nurses of Alberta uses two collective action frames, nurses-as-distinct and nurses-as-advocates, in their daily communication to members and the public. In creating and promoting these frames, United Nurses of Alberta draws from and pushes against the industrial relations framework under which they operate and the historical narrative of nurses as caring and self-sacrificing, which may reinforce common understandings of nursing and also limit United Nurses of Alberta’s ability to represent their members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-595
Number of pages17
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun. 2024


  • collective action frames
  • communications
  • nurses
  • representation
  • social media
  • trade union


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