New Brunswick Tribune

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

N.B. The government is still trying to negotiate an arrangement with nurses

Key takeaways:

  • After two tentative agreements were rejected this fall, the New Brunswick Nurses Union faces a strike vote.
  • The government of New Brunswick, on the other hand, claimed on Friday that talks are still ongoing and are progressing well.

The New Brunswick Nurses Union is facing a strike vote after two tentative agreements were rejected this fall.

On Tuesday, the union will have a town hall meeting for members, and they are ‘gearing up to take strike votes later this week. The government of New Brunswick, on the other hand, claimed on Friday that talks are still ongoing and are progressing well.

“We all want to see it happen sooner rather than later,” said Dorothy Shephard, the Minister of Health for New Brunswick. “And I know that’s front of mind because when I made some travels across the province last week, we talked to medical staff about safety,” she says.

Also read: New Brunswick has 45 new cases, with 62 of them in hospital

Since December 2018, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse managers, and supervisors have been without a contract.

Paula Doucet, the NBNU, has detailed tough working circumstances, including 24-hour hours, violent events, vacation denial, and exhaustion. Hundreds of unfilled nurse positions exist across the province, and the epidemic has exacerbated the problem.

“After two tentative deals being rejected, nurses in this province are sending a message to the government and employers that enough is enough and things need to change for the better,” she said on Sunday. 

“It’s a difficult thing for nurses to do, but they’ve banded together to demand better for themselves and the patients/residents/clients they serve in New Brunswick.”

N.B. government still trying to reach  agreement with nurses

Premier Blaine Higgs stated that they have studied the shift arrangements of nurses and acknowledge that they might be demanding.

He also acknowledged workplace safety concerns, stating that they are working to discover ways to make hospitals safer.

“It’s almost unconscionable that we’ve reached a point where our hospitals are no longer secure places to work,” he remarked. 

“I believe it’s bad that someone is in a position to work longer shifts than anyone should be asked to work, and not just once in a while due to an emergency – but regularly.” 

And they’ve made it obvious that they can’t have a work/life balance unless it’s addressed, which I agree with.”

Higgs expressed optimism that a deal could be achieved before the holidays.

Source: CTV News

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