Manitoba nurses deserve a fair contract
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 07/07/2021 (693 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
I want to say thank you to all nurses from The Maples who have contacted me in the last year and thanks to all nurses across Manitoba for the work they do each and every day.
Manitoba nurses have been without a contract for four years under the Pallister government.
The health-care system has continued to be underfunded since the government took power, and the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to exacerbate the lived experiences of nurses and all healthcare staff on the front lines. It is really simple — give nurses and health-care workers a meaningful contract.
If it weren’t for nurses and all other healthcare staff, we would have never survived the pandemic. Nurses have continued to put themselves at risk for the health and safety of Manitobans. Words will never suffice for the sacrifices of being on the front lines, but offering nurses a contract is one small thing the government can do to show that we honour their work and we stand them.
Just a few weeks ago, Manitoba Nurses’ Union, which represents more than 12,000 nurses across the province, voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike at 98 per cent in favour.
Because of the overwhelming support for a strike, the nurses union was able to successfully negotiate an agreement with the government to go to binding arbitration without nurses having to strike if bargaining is unsuccessful.
Nurses want liveable wages, benefits, adequate resources and staffing levels. From people who consistently work to ensure our health remains a priority, these are not big asks.
Since I was elected, nurses from The Maples have told me that they experience staffing shortages, low morale, and precarious employment due to the Pallister government’s cuts. This has only been further challenged by the pandemic.
Additionally, the government’s Bill 16 would make changes to the Labour Relations Act to eliminate the requirement for binding arbitration after 60 days of job action. This takes away workers’ rights and will result in prolonged strikes. The NDP team has used its legislative powers to hold this bill over until the fall to give Manitobans more time to learn about the changes and raise their concerns against the bill.
If you wish to present on this bill you can register at the legislative clerk’s office by calling 204-945-3636.
I also want to encourage nurses and health-care professionals in The Maples to reach out with any questions of concern you may have at 204-417-3486 or email@example.com
I look forward to supporting you in any way I can and championing your concerns in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.
The Maples constituency report
Mintu Sandhu is the NDP MLA for The Maples.