Nurses union suspends contract talks

Staff ~ The Telegram
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The Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses Union has suspended contract talks with the province, but plan to return to the table March 31 as scheduled.
The union suspended the talks last week because there was no progress.

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses Union

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Recent comments

  • Webster
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    MP N, almost everybody in NL is paid less than in other provinces. Why should my taxes pay for an increase in their salary when I don't get one? I work just as hard or harder.

  • MP
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    I think nurses deserve to make top dollar for the work they do.

  • Doug
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    To MP.......so the top dollar wouldn't be very much. What's a top dollar for changing beds and giving aspirins. What specialty do they really have? I've been trying to figure this out for years.

  • Thomas
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Doug you are an ignorant man. There are many thin nurses, and did you ever think that the nurses you are refering to maybe be bigger because they do not have time to cook or sit down to a proper meal? They usually eat on the run, which leads to poor eating decisions.

    Also, sometimes working isn't about the money. When you work 36 hours in 3 days you need time to recharge before your next shift. When peoples lives are in your hands it is not always about money. And, because of this mandatory OT many people can not get their holidays, which I am sure would anger any worker.

  • Thomas
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Tell that to the nurses that can not get any holidays, have to work mandatory overtime, are wearing thmeselves thin, and to the patients whose care is suffering because of this.

  • Cy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I guess Mr. Mercer and his political friends who for decades have been among the highest paid political types in the country over the years. They must believe our nurses in Newfoundland and Labrador should remain the lowest paid in the country. Which is the place they have been over the last number of years if not decades. We may only be short a couple hundred positions here in NL this year but if this keeps up the number will grow and next thing Mr. Mercer and others will be complaining over services closing due to lack of nursing staffs as they have left for one of the other 12 jurisdictions who not only have high rates of financial reimbursement but often much better working conditions and benefits.

  • Wavey
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    When a nurse is first hired they start off on a payscale that has 8 steps. That means for 8 years, they get an annual increase. Contracts run for 3 or 4 years. That means they will get an increase AGAIN with each new contract. Their hospital support staff have 3 steps. Their contract is 4 years. After the first 3 years their wage is FROZEN. If it wasn't for their support staff, a lot of nurses would never be able to get organized enough to run their clinics, data enter their stats, etc. etc. etc. I see a probelm with that picture. Time for the Williams government to start rewarding the admin staff who support the nurses. Actually, it's LONG overdue.

  • Tanya
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Until I actually went to nursing school and became a nurse, I like some of you was ignorant on what a nurses scope of pactice encompasses. To educate yourselves, and get a snap shot of a nurses responsibilities, please visit the ARNNL website. It is true that LPN's are taking on more nursing duties. However, as their role is expanding, the registered nurses role is expanding by taking on more medical duties. It's not about who works harder, because each healthcare discipline must work together to deliver good healthcare. Any nurse in Canada should be getting equal pay for equal job classification, just as any teacher be paid as a teacher working anywhere in Canada. That may never happen, but nurses should not be disrespected for fighting to do so. I've worked out of province on a floor where there was a 1 nurse to 4 patient ratio. When I came back home, it was 1 nurse to 8 patients. This is only one issue that nurses are trying to address, to improve patient care in this province..it's not all about money. There are nurses who are told that they may not have the the day off for their child's kindergarden graduation, let alone a family vacation in the summer, because there is no staff to look after the increasing number of patients. Back to the money issue, it costs a lot to become a nurse, nurses are graduating with big student loans. So while some of you may think the wages here are good, please don't forget that some nurses are paying in excess of $500 monthly just for repayment of student loans. When other provinces are offering more, where do you think nurses are going to go to get rid of this debt. Each day/night we go to work and pray to do our best to look after the patients in our care. Each day/night that we go home, we hope that we have enough energy left over to care for our family. Please support us...

  • The Other Side
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    I've worked side by side with nurses, some very dedicated and others who pass the buck to the lower levels of support. In this new computer age, the role of a nurse has taken a different toll in many hospitals and that is sitting in front of the computer. LPN'S assume a lot of nursing duties and are frowned upon by higher authorities as well as the patient because they don't hold the RN or BN title. Sad, but true. In my day we never had time to run home on a lunch break like I witness nowadays with a nurse that lives by me. Heck, sometimes she's home on a coffee break in the morning hanging out her laundry while in uniform. I think more focus needs to be put on where the staff are when they should be inside their work doors doing what they are getting paid to do. Mind you, there's probably only a few doing this sort of abuse of work time and I happen to live by one. It sickens me to see that this individual is getting paid for working full time and doesn't spend it doing the job she was hired to do. I'd say put in cameras and watch some of the hospital staff to see who abuses time wasted.

  • Mark
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    The nurses in the Province are excellent , they should get what they deserve or the next problem will be recruiting them.

  • Webster
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Brent, of course, they are slinging BEER.

    Doug, 'thin' nurse. Priceless!

  • MP
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Doug, you obviously know nothing about nursing. Try going to nursing school and graduate. Bet you wouldn't be able. Nurses are paid less here than other provinces. But you probably don't care, until you get sick someday and your're ringing the buzzer needing a nurse, and no one answers. Guess you'd better bring your aspirin and depends with ya.

  • MP
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    You folks who are jealous of nurses wages, ie Webster, go do a shift on the floor for 12 hours and see how you feel then.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Never hit the send button in anger. My wife is a nurse. Our phone rings 7 days a week between 6and 7 am and again between 6 and 7 pm.All our phones are turned off and family have been instructed to call our cell if their is an emergency. We are in a crisis with nurses average age 49 highest in country, you will need your depends because in a short time there will be no one available to answer that buzzer when you press it. Careful of your comments

  • JC
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Clearly Doug does not have any friends who are nurses. And judging from his ignorance, he's probably lacking in the friends department anyway.

  • Adrian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    I've worked in the system, no too tough! Gimme gimme gimme!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Beavs
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Don't nurses get paid somewhere between $23 to $39 per hour, depending upon their years of experience and classification?

    That's not bad money when you include overtime at time and a half, or double time. How much more do they want?

  • Brad
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    There's not enough money in the world to satisfy Debbie Forward and the union she represents. To hear her tell it, the health care system has ALWAYS been in crisis, which we know is not true. I guess her strategy is to win more concessions from government by talking down the system as much as possible, whether it's warranted or not. Pretty disgenuous if you ask me.

  • elizabeth
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    As a nurse, I am very disheartened at many of your comments. It appears that that much of the public has no respect for nursing as a profession. Recieving higher wages is not just about putting a couple extra bucks in our pockets but about being able to attract new nurses and retain senior ones. It is because of the better working conditions (and higher pay) that the majority of new nurses are leaving the province for better jobs instead of staying in NL and being paid little more than if we were slinging beer . There IS a nursing shortage. There IS a crisis in our health care system. For all of you who hold such negative views of nurses and the work we do, I think you will have more respect for us when it is you or your family member who is in desperate need of our care and there is no one there to provide it. Mark and Thomas:Bless you!

  • n
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    you people who bad mouth nurses should try working a 12 hour shift on a med surg floor. most of you nay sayers have a warped sense of reality.I have a little knowledge about this i have been married to a nurse for 23 yrs.

  • Brent
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Pretty harse words for the people who we depend on to care for us when we need them the most. Seems to me we treat the people who sling beer for us better than the workers in health care.

  • Adrian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    I've worked in the system, no too tough! Gimme gimme gimme!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Webster
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    MP N, almost everybody in NL is paid less than in other provinces. Why should my taxes pay for an increase in their salary when I don't get one? I work just as hard or harder.

  • MP
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    I think nurses deserve to make top dollar for the work they do.

  • Doug
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    To MP.......so the top dollar wouldn't be very much. What's a top dollar for changing beds and giving aspirins. What specialty do they really have? I've been trying to figure this out for years.

  • Thomas
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    Doug you are an ignorant man. There are many thin nurses, and did you ever think that the nurses you are refering to maybe be bigger because they do not have time to cook or sit down to a proper meal? They usually eat on the run, which leads to poor eating decisions.

    Also, sometimes working isn't about the money. When you work 36 hours in 3 days you need time to recharge before your next shift. When peoples lives are in your hands it is not always about money. And, because of this mandatory OT many people can not get their holidays, which I am sure would anger any worker.

  • Thomas
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    Tell that to the nurses that can not get any holidays, have to work mandatory overtime, are wearing thmeselves thin, and to the patients whose care is suffering because of this.

  • Cy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    I guess Mr. Mercer and his political friends who for decades have been among the highest paid political types in the country over the years. They must believe our nurses in Newfoundland and Labrador should remain the lowest paid in the country. Which is the place they have been over the last number of years if not decades. We may only be short a couple hundred positions here in NL this year but if this keeps up the number will grow and next thing Mr. Mercer and others will be complaining over services closing due to lack of nursing staffs as they have left for one of the other 12 jurisdictions who not only have high rates of financial reimbursement but often much better working conditions and benefits.

  • Wavey
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    When a nurse is first hired they start off on a payscale that has 8 steps. That means for 8 years, they get an annual increase. Contracts run for 3 or 4 years. That means they will get an increase AGAIN with each new contract. Their hospital support staff have 3 steps. Their contract is 4 years. After the first 3 years their wage is FROZEN. If it wasn't for their support staff, a lot of nurses would never be able to get organized enough to run their clinics, data enter their stats, etc. etc. etc. I see a probelm with that picture. Time for the Williams government to start rewarding the admin staff who support the nurses. Actually, it's LONG overdue.

  • Tanya
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    Until I actually went to nursing school and became a nurse, I like some of you was ignorant on what a nurses scope of pactice encompasses. To educate yourselves, and get a snap shot of a nurses responsibilities, please visit the ARNNL website. It is true that LPN's are taking on more nursing duties. However, as their role is expanding, the registered nurses role is expanding by taking on more medical duties. It's not about who works harder, because each healthcare discipline must work together to deliver good healthcare. Any nurse in Canada should be getting equal pay for equal job classification, just as any teacher be paid as a teacher working anywhere in Canada. That may never happen, but nurses should not be disrespected for fighting to do so. I've worked out of province on a floor where there was a 1 nurse to 4 patient ratio. When I came back home, it was 1 nurse to 8 patients. This is only one issue that nurses are trying to address, to improve patient care in this province..it's not all about money. There are nurses who are told that they may not have the the day off for their child's kindergarden graduation, let alone a family vacation in the summer, because there is no staff to look after the increasing number of patients. Back to the money issue, it costs a lot to become a nurse, nurses are graduating with big student loans. So while some of you may think the wages here are good, please don't forget that some nurses are paying in excess of $500 monthly just for repayment of student loans. When other provinces are offering more, where do you think nurses are going to go to get rid of this debt. Each day/night we go to work and pray to do our best to look after the patients in our care. Each day/night that we go home, we hope that we have enough energy left over to care for our family. Please support us...

  • The Other Side
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    I've worked side by side with nurses, some very dedicated and others who pass the buck to the lower levels of support. In this new computer age, the role of a nurse has taken a different toll in many hospitals and that is sitting in front of the computer. LPN'S assume a lot of nursing duties and are frowned upon by higher authorities as well as the patient because they don't hold the RN or BN title. Sad, but true. In my day we never had time to run home on a lunch break like I witness nowadays with a nurse that lives by me. Heck, sometimes she's home on a coffee break in the morning hanging out her laundry while in uniform. I think more focus needs to be put on where the staff are when they should be inside their work doors doing what they are getting paid to do. Mind you, there's probably only a few doing this sort of abuse of work time and I happen to live by one. It sickens me to see that this individual is getting paid for working full time and doesn't spend it doing the job she was hired to do. I'd say put in cameras and watch some of the hospital staff to see who abuses time wasted.

  • Mark
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    The nurses in the Province are excellent , they should get what they deserve or the next problem will be recruiting them.

  • Webster
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    Brent, of course, they are slinging BEER.

    Doug, 'thin' nurse. Priceless!

  • MP
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Doug, you obviously know nothing about nursing. Try going to nursing school and graduate. Bet you wouldn't be able. Nurses are paid less here than other provinces. But you probably don't care, until you get sick someday and your're ringing the buzzer needing a nurse, and no one answers. Guess you'd better bring your aspirin and depends with ya.

  • MP
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    You folks who are jealous of nurses wages, ie Webster, go do a shift on the floor for 12 hours and see how you feel then.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    Never hit the send button in anger. My wife is a nurse. Our phone rings 7 days a week between 6and 7 am and again between 6 and 7 pm.All our phones are turned off and family have been instructed to call our cell if their is an emergency. We are in a crisis with nurses average age 49 highest in country, you will need your depends because in a short time there will be no one available to answer that buzzer when you press it. Careful of your comments

  • JC
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    Clearly Doug does not have any friends who are nurses. And judging from his ignorance, he's probably lacking in the friends department anyway.

  • Adrian
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    I've worked in the system, no too tough! Gimme gimme gimme!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Beavs
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Don't nurses get paid somewhere between $23 to $39 per hour, depending upon their years of experience and classification?

    That's not bad money when you include overtime at time and a half, or double time. How much more do they want?

  • Brad
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    There's not enough money in the world to satisfy Debbie Forward and the union she represents. To hear her tell it, the health care system has ALWAYS been in crisis, which we know is not true. I guess her strategy is to win more concessions from government by talking down the system as much as possible, whether it's warranted or not. Pretty disgenuous if you ask me.

  • elizabeth
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    As a nurse, I am very disheartened at many of your comments. It appears that that much of the public has no respect for nursing as a profession. Recieving higher wages is not just about putting a couple extra bucks in our pockets but about being able to attract new nurses and retain senior ones. It is because of the better working conditions (and higher pay) that the majority of new nurses are leaving the province for better jobs instead of staying in NL and being paid little more than if we were slinging beer . There IS a nursing shortage. There IS a crisis in our health care system. For all of you who hold such negative views of nurses and the work we do, I think you will have more respect for us when it is you or your family member who is in desperate need of our care and there is no one there to provide it. Mark and Thomas:Bless you!

  • n
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    you people who bad mouth nurses should try working a 12 hour shift on a med surg floor. most of you nay sayers have a warped sense of reality.I have a little knowledge about this i have been married to a nurse for 23 yrs.

  • Brent
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Pretty harse words for the people who we depend on to care for us when we need them the most. Seems to me we treat the people who sling beer for us better than the workers in health care.

  • Adrian
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    I've worked in the system, no too tough! Gimme gimme gimme!!!!!!!!!!!