TO THE BRINK: Nurses union considers strike motion to get new deal

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Going through a important workers scarcity and struggling to recruit and retain new nurses, the union which represents greater than 12,000 nurses within the province says it has been pushed to the brink and should now take into account occurring strike.

Darlene Jackson, president of the Manitoba Nurses Union, mentioned on Saturday they have been working out of all different choices out there of their quest for a brand new collective settlement with the province – and affected person care was at stake .

“If we lose extra nurses on this province, we can’t be capable to present the care Manitobans want,” Jackson mentioned.

“It is the very final thing we needed to do. There isn’t a manner for nurses on this province to think about eradicating any perform. We’re in a pandemic. We’re a necessary service and supply care with a restricted variety of nurses.

In April, an NDP request below the Freedom of Info and Safety of Privateness Act revealed practically 1,300 nursing positions in Winnipeg, or about 17% of the nursing workforce in Winnipeg. the capital.

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Jackson, who despatched a letter to union members on Friday detailing the subsequent steps of a attainable strike, mentioned the important scarcity of nurses within the province that existed earlier than the pandemic was solely exacerbated within the final 15 years. final months.

Nurses are requested to work double shifts – 16 hours a day – again to again and, in some circumstances, a number of days in a row.

Nurses throughout the province have been and not using a new contract for greater than 4 years and ongoing talks are progressing at a snail’s tempo. The MNU provided binding arbitration, however the province denied the request.

“This unresolved back-and-forth and a continued disrespect for work-life stability, price of dwelling and excessive workers shortages resulting in declining psychological and bodily well-being of nurses, should take late, ”Jackson mentioned.

“It is on them.”

A authorities spokesperson mentioned on Saturday the province needs all nurses to have the knowledge and luxury of a brand new long-term collective settlement as quickly as attainable, and says there was no hesitation on this regard.

“Nonetheless, the method of restructuring the well being care bargaining unit and the required illustration votes weren’t accomplished till the top of 2019,” the spokesperson mentioned. “Since negotiation turned attainable, the consultant well being authority and the MNU have negotiated very actively in good religion, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The federal government understands that complete proposals proceed to be exchanged and mentioned on a full vary of financial and non-monetary points, together with particular incentive preparations for nurses most severely affected by COVID outbreaks. These preparations would complement a particular COVID-based memorandum of understanding already concluded with MNU in early December 2020. “

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Nurses have been repeatedly requested for concessions to the purpose the place, earlier this month, talks have been known as off after what the union described as “far too disturbing” proposals given the present local weather, based on Jackson.

“We nonetheless do not see something vital on the bargaining desk that offers with recruitment and retention,” she mentioned, including that administration nonetheless needed to have the ability to transfer nurses across the well being care system at their discretion.

She wonders how a nurse would see the scenario in Manitoba and comply with enter the workforce.

Hours after the letter was despatched to members, Jackson mentioned the suggestions was constructive.

“However nurses are apprehensive about their sufferers and their care, and they’re apprehensive about what that may seem like,” Jackson mentioned. “Nurses are additionally saying this could’t proceed, they usually wish to make sure that the general public is aware of it is about affected person care and our means to proceed offering it.

Jackson mentioned most, if not all, of the federal government’s presents have been primarily based on disaster administration to “cover the federal government’s disastrous dismantling of well being care.”

“The true and direct front-line expertise, primarily based on the issues and options provided by nurses, is rejected,” she mentioned, “leaving nurses and sufferers to proceed to face the tragic penalties of choices. who ignore actuality. “

Nurses are additionally involved concerning the post-pandemic future, as they return from the entrance strains to start out coping with a large backlog of surgical procedures and different medical interventions which have typically been interrupted throughout the pandemic.

“What is going to occur then?” Jackson mentioned. “There may be simply no finish.

“The nurses say this has to cease. We have to put in place a long run plan. And proper now, all we’re seeing are very short-term dressing options. This isn’t the place we must be. “

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Twitter: @scottbilleck

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