WINNIPEG - Two weeks after voting in favour of a strike mandate, the Manitoba Nurses Union says their members won’t be taking strike or job action after all.
The union says it’s grateful to have reached an agreement with their nursing employers for both groups to be able to initiate binding arbitration if bargaining is unsuccessful — without the 60 days of job action the union had been planning for.
Shared Health says they’ve made a commitment to continue direct collective bargaining with the help of an expert mediator. The provincial health department says both sides will keep building on the progress made at the bargaining table, where health sector employers and union representatives have found themselves agreeing with over 60 per cent of proposals so far.
Chief Nursing Officer and health system integration and quality lead Lanette Siragusa says everyone at the table wants nurses to have the sense of security that comes with a fair and long-term collective agreement. “While we are prepared for every contingency, in order to ensure no disruption to patient care, this collaborative and creative approach will be welcomed by all Manitobans,” Siragusa says, “Including the health care workers who continue to meet the challenges of COVID-19.”
Siragusa notes the agreement is will help improve both patient care and work-life balance for nurses. She says public health officials recognize the sacrificial efforts of Manitoba nurses, and other health care workers, throughout the pandemic, and the challenges they’ve faced for well over a year. “Manitobans from every corner of our province, and health system leaders from every organization and facility, will continue to express our gratitude and appreciation to our dedicated workforce.”