Nelson House nurses still on strike

It’s been more than two months and five nurses from Nischawayasihk Personal Care Home in Nisichwayasihk Cree Nation are still fighting for higher pay.

The nurses started a picket line on May 11 and Sandi Mowat, President of the Manitoba Nurses Union says since it’s been over 60 days the union has the right to go to the labour board, and request they impose a collective agreement, since both parties can’t agree.

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“The next step is that the labour board looks at it, and once they accept the application they notify the parties, and they determine that you’re at an impasse, which will not be a problem, because both parties have agreed that, and they will decide a hearing date,” explained Mowat.

The rural nurses startd the strike because they’re being paid less than other nurses in Manitoba.

Mowat continued by saying since nurses are an essential service, they negotiated a essential services agreement prior to the collective agreement expiring. With this agreement, nurses are still being paid, and doing essential duties, but nothing further. “The nurses are making sure medication is given, and treatments. But all the things nurses do, that are related to resident care, but aren’t direct resident care, that is deemed to be non-essential, those nurses are not doing them. Those include ordering supplies, making sure supplies are in, processing doctors’ orders, making agreements for transfers and tests, things like that.”

For now, it’s a waiting game for the nurses. Once the hearing date is confirmed, nurses will go back to work.

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