Nurses hit the street

Nadya Bell
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St. John's lunchtime rallies suport disciplined Botwood co-worker

Shouting "support for Botwood," nurses Andrea Pretty (from left), Yvette Hynes and Jerry Hearn, take part in a lunch-hour rally by nurses Wednesday at the entrance to the Health Sciences Centre in support of a Botwood nurse disciplined last week by the Ce

Nurses demonstrated at lunchtime rallies in St. John's on a fall day much warmer than when they may next hit the streets - after a strike vote in January.
Nurses protested outside the Health Sciences, St. Clare's and the Waterford in support for a coworker in Botwood who was recently disciplined for refusing to do non-nursing chores.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses' Union called on nurses to stop doing a variety of housekeeping and office duties in early October, as a way to draw attention to the shortage of nurses and put pressure on the provincial government in contract negotiations.
The nurse in Botwood got an adverse report put on her file because she wouldn't call in a housekeeping staff member on the night shift.
"So we're here in support of her because we want to take care of patients," said Sherry Bugden, a registered nurse protesting with a group of about 60 people outside the Health Sciences on Wednesday.
"We don't want to be calling in housekeeping or maintenance staff," Bugden says.
While holding signs, waving flags and chanting "nursing shortage, situation critical," "nurses want to nurse," and "patients come first," drivers on Prince Philip Drive honked their horns in support.
Joan Rumsey, a nurse in the day unit was protesting outside St. Clare's at lunchtime as well. She says nurses are not pleased with the way Central Health has dealt with the situation in Botwood.
"She was only doing her job. We are trying to bring attention the fact that nurses are spending a lot of their time doing non-nursing duties and taking us away from our patients which is where we want to be," Rumsey says.
Union president Debbie Forward attended both Health Sciences and St. Clare's protests, and echoed her support for the nurses in Botwood.
"We can't be out there with you but we're strong. You've taken a strong stand for your patients, for health care and we support you," Forward says.
While she did not give a speech at either of the lunchtime events, Forward told media that nothing has changed in the negotiations with government and they are in the process of putting their essential services agreements in place with health boards in preparation for a strike vote in January.
"Nurses have clearly said we need to do more to make sure that we have enough nurses, we're going to stand up for health care and none of us want to have a strike, but if that's what it's going to take nurses are willing to do it," Forward says, adding the reaction from the public to the protests has been excellent.
"For nurses hearing those horns (honking) it's really important as well, because sometimes you wonder whether the public is getting the message and if they understand," Forward says.
While nurses are lobbying for a better paying contract with government, Rumsey says they are also lobbying for the health of everyone in Newfoundland and Labrador.
"I'm retiring next year so the money means very little to me, but I have lots of family members that I'm concerned about that are going to face a future of uncertainty in health care because the nurses just aren't going to be there to care for them and for me. That's my concern," Rumsey says
"We're out here for the health-care system in general, we are in a crisis and it is going to get worse."

nbelll@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Health Sciences, Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses

Geographic location: Botwood, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Go back to work!

  • Part Time is fine?
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    They talk about full time permanent employment and how it would help fix the shortage. The funny thing is that there are casual nurses who refuse to take full time permanent jobs because it effects their social schedule. I know one particular nurse who picks her shifts. She gets full time hours when she wants them. If she decides to go on holidays or has something scheduled for a weekend, she just don't answer her phone or refuses to work certain shifts. I think the problem is bigger than not enough full time jobs....

  • cal
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Let the Nurses Settle their own affairs, sure their salary comes from the Government Purse but they have a right to protest, accept, reject any offer, its their right as members of Nape. The public certainly has an interest, however, it is a contract dispute between the Government and a Union. A messge to Sherri, next time your contract is due, give your self a break and accept what ever is offered and be happy you are working and have a job (not a pleasant thought is it Sherri, btw did you find a positon here in NL when you attended the Job Fair). I am sure you have heard of equal pay for equal work! Its not the NL nurses fault the cost of living is higher or lower in other provinces. Again let the Nurses solve their own affairs.

  • Darrel
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Calvin...your sob story will not garnish any sympathies from me. Go out of business - I don't care. Nurse are more important than your workplace and I don't even know what your so-called business is (and I don't care). But I'll bet one thing, you are raking in a lot more money than your employees by a very large margin. There is no option to have nurses or not so budget is a moot point. If need be, gov't can axe other programs, probably some of those you have been taking advantage of to reduce your operating costs. I and many others do not buy this carte blanche statement that Newfoundland businesses are just hanging in there by a thread. Open your eyes and have a look around at all the big SUVs and sports cars parked outside the buildings in the industrial parks and come back and tell me your sob story again.

    I believe the nurses have the vast majority of support in day to day discussions with people, and so they should. You had better hope you don't wind up in the hospital if gov't runs the hospitals like a business (all the money would probably be embezzled).

  • Doug
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    I've said it once and I'll say it again...you nurses are losing support from the public. You are holding us hostage and holding your threat over our heads. There is still a lot of talk about money in this forum. If I require nursing care in the future, I promise I won't ask you to empty the garbage or unclog the toilet.

  • Thought so
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Mike -- Nurses demonstrated at lunchtime....

    A demonstration is a legitimate activity on THEIR TIME... As well no strike action has been actioned --- YET!!
    What they do, and what you do on YOUR time is NOBODIES business.....

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    I will agree that Debbie Forward and the Union Excutive are not doing justice in expaining there case, nonetheless I suppport the nurses 100%. I'm from Newfoundland but now live and work as a nurse in the US. I have been a nurse for 10 years. If I came back to NF, my salary would drop by approx 40,000 and I would be paid the same as a nurse with 1-2years experience and only have Casual work with full time hours. Now, I ask you, is this appropriate for a profession that needs nurses, needs to be competitive to recruit and retain Nurses. Absolutly 100% not. There is nothing for me to come home to in regards to being a Nurse and to compete they need much more to help the profession that has a National shortage. Additionally There needs to be more public outcry from the Medical association. It seems like the political issues prevent such support however that indorsement of support is needed in a time of crisis and this is surely a time of crisis for the Nursing profession in Newfoundland. The Doctors know this, and need to be more vocal on the issues and how it affects overal patient care.

  • Thought so
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Calvin from NL --- Then why doesn't the NL owner just offer Alberta wages?

    I suspect that's a - bait - question!!?? I have an acquaintance working just north of Calgary. He drives a double axle tandem and a flat bed. I suppose you could call him a truck driver. He gets paid his time driving OR stopped waiting between 35-$45.00 per hour regular time. His over time is paid at time and half. His days off are paid at double time and if that day off is on a statutory holiday it's triple time......Does THAT answer your question??

  • Ruth
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Nurses do all the work in any hospital. Without them our health care would close shop. I am not a nurse but when my mother was dying in the hospital last year the nurses were spendid....the doctors were all away somewhere....golfing maybe? I do not know all the details of this case but I support the nurses. God bless and good luck to all our health care workers.

  • Sherri
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Hi Calvin from NL, I totally agree that salary alone will not fix the problem - to every one else who says money is not the issue - why don't the other issues come out in the news, if indeed it is not the salary then that should not be what Ms. Forward is talking about to the media, she should be focusing on the other things at hand. Take the 20% and then work to fix the other things cause before you know it time will have run out and the money won't be there for the 20% increase either.

  • Calvin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Darrel from NL writes: Calvin... You say, Then why doesn't the NL owner just offer Alberta wages? Simple... because they can get away with it. It's all about what you can get away with (today's business motto). Don't worry, these guys won't go bankrupt - they'll just lay you off to keep their profit margins in line with the big oil companies while demanding the other workers to pitch in.

    Where the heck did big oil companies come from. The reference was to garages, welding shops, heavy equipment. I own a small business and can't find skilled workers. If I offer Alberta wages the company will go bankrupt... I guarentee you... you can even see the books if you like. I also work a second job because there isn't enough business for me to live off my company alone. So I either make due with the workers I have or offer Alberta wages to fill the jobs and then go bankrupt within 8 months. I doubt the 4 families of my workers would appreceiate loosing their sole income. Ask any business in this province if they can afford to pay Alberta wages... any single one. The nursing situation is the same. Just in case you haven't realized, this isn't Alberta... we have the highest per capita debt (Alberta no debt), larger geography (Alberta smaller), smaller population and less employment opportunities. So why don't we just give everyone Alberta wages to fill all the jobs... nurses included. Where's the money going to come from? Then you'll be the first person to complain because your taxes went up 30% just to cover all those raises. The government has a budget, just like every person in the province... spend within your means or go bankrupt.

  • Renee
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Its very sad to see such ignorance in a lot of the comments I've read. Obviously, some people have no idea what they are talking about. You cannot compare apples to oranges. Nursing is a profession that is unique and has its own issues. You can't compare it to being an electrician or an accountant.

    We are having a major HEALTH CARE CRISIS in Newfoundland and one of the areas that is suffering is Nursing! This is obvious to anyone who has spent any amount of time in one of the local hospitals.

    There are not enough Nurses now, more will be retiring soon and the government is not doing enough to retain the new grads that come out of university with huge loans or to recruit the Nurses who are wanting to come home from the USA or across Canada. Of course the new grads are leaving! How are they supposed to pay back these loans on the wages they receive here? How can they support themselves, their families, pay the bills and pay back these huge loans? And why would they want to start their careers in such a terrible situation that is ongoing in our hospitals?

    I support the Nurses 110%!!

    These Nurses, although they chose this profession, have given up so much to help others. They do not get to put their children to bed every night . They do not get to take time off at leisure or even plan a holiday. They can't even have a day off without the threat of being demanded in...which means they have no choice...management orders then in. That's not fair.

    Take some time to talk to a few of these Nurses and listen to their stories. Ask them how they are impacted by the shortage and the extra demands that are placed on them in the workplace. Ask them if they were able to do everything they wanted to do for their patients that day. The answers will frighten you. I've asked!!

    It is not only about the money!! They are frustrated, tired, burnt out, and want a contract that is fair.

    I only hope that people can open their eyes and give the Nurses the support they deserve!

  • Darrel
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Calvin... You say, Then why doesn't the NL owner just offer Alberta wages? Simple... because they can get away with it. It's all about what you can get away with (today's business motto). Don't worry, these guys won't go bankrupt - they'll just lay you off to keep their profit margins in line with the big oil companies while demanding the other workers to pitch in. Don't get me wrong here. I'm all about pitching in to help out with non-related duties, but not at the sacrifice of why I am paid what I am paid. It's when pitching in becomes no longer appreciated, and becomes mandatory or else you get reprimanded, that I have a problem with. We've all seen the shift towards this pitching in with non-related duties over the years. It's all about saving the employer money. Will hospital management pitch in and do the same pitching in with non-related duties they are now requiring nurses (under threat) to do ? Here's another way to look at it... what kind of management is it if hospital management feels nurses are to perform non-related duties at a pay rate above what they could hire some temp worker (janitor) to perform ? Is this effective management in terms of cost effectiveness ? Does hospital management truly believe nurses have this spare time on their hands ? What if they really do have this spare time on their hands ? Has hospital management effectively managed the nursing shifts ? The answer to all of the above points towards poor management in each case.

  • DB
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    You get what you pay for. If you want to cheap out on health care then expect problems. More Cameron commissions anyone?

  • guy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    If the pay is not the issue, why don't they take the 20% and fight for the other facts.

    equal pay for equal work...when compared to cost of living, and also compared to other factors they have in big cities that we don't have. why isn't everyone in NL paid the same as everyone else in Canada? I wonder. why would any one want to work with those problems when they could be better off (not equal) working here?

  • Bea
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Oh dear Ruth! You do all the other people who work in hospitals such a disservice. Nurses DON'T do ALL the work! And they get to go home after an 8 or 12-hour shift. What about the technicians - x-ray, lab, plaster, admitting clerks, etc. - and please don't let us forget the Registered Practical Nurses, RPNs, who actually do most of the hands-on 'nursing'. And what about all the office staff who struggle to keep up with the never-ending paper work, trying to keep records up-to-date, so that patient's charts are also up-to-date; porters and volunteers also do many jobs in a hospital. A hospital is made up of so many departments, and for a hospital to work then everyone needs to do their fair share, and if this means straying outside the 'allotted' duties once in a while, then so be it.
    And, FYI, when a doctor is working 16+ hours a day he/she doesn't get much time to spend on the golf course. If a doctor is not available at any given time, then he/she is probably with another patient trying to make their life a little easier.
    I can honestly say that my husband never went into medicine for 'the money', and I'm sure there are many nurses who also didn't go into nursing for the money. Many doctors and nurses are kind, caring, people. Whenever the word 'strike' has been mentioned most doctor's shudder at the thought. When nurses went on strike one time, it was the doctors and others who kept the hospital going.
    Good nurses are extremely important in a hospital, but they are only part of a whole team, and it takes a whole team to make things work.

  • RED
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    V Browne from St. Johns, I believe you are confusing the meaning of the word professionalism and a person acting professional . You talk as though only Laywers, doctors et al can act professional in their work.

    One's profession (field of work) does not make a person professional in thier job. A clerk at Walmart can be very professional while dealing with customers where a laywer/accountant /nurse can act very unprofessional.

    I do help around the office and staff room. I cary boxes for clients and colleagues alike. I have washed the bathrooms, swept the floor, changed lights, polished desks and provided technical help when needed and much , much more.

    I am an accountant by day and an instructor in post secondary education by evening. Does that make me a professional?

    No, but the way I handle myself and my clients sure as heck do...

    Being professional is not a status criteria, it is a duty and shows pride in ones work.

    Oh, if ST. Johns is not the Real world I concede to living in fantasy land...

  • Sherri
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Give me a break. Nurses in Newfoundland need to understand and to realize that the nursing shortage is not just affecting them, it is affecting hospitals across Canada, the US and the World. While I do agree that a raise is needed you cannot fix it all in one year. Take your 20% and be happy. I work for a hospital in Ontario and our new 3 year collective agreement allows for just over 10%. Sure our salaries are higher but it also costs more to live here. Ms. Forward has to stop comparing the salaries of nurses in Alberta to those in Newfoundland - there is no fair comparison when the cost of renting a two bedroom apartment in Edmonton can run you 1500.00 a month or more.
    The Health Care Boards in Newfoundland also need to start offering full-time employment, I attended Health Careers Interaction last week at the Delta and was suprised at the number of nurses who have worked in Newfoundland that are not in full-time permanent positions, a conversion to more full-time would also be a way to help with the shortage. Eastern Health was just on a recruiting drive across the country - to me this is crazy, no full-time jobs, no tuition support, etc, etc. You all need to be thankful that in a day when thousands of people are lucky to have a paycheck you are offered a 20% increase.

  • enough.already
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    First of all, I am not a nurse but have close friends who are and I work with many very qualified and hard working nurses on a daily basis. I have a great deal of respect for the work that they do, there is no amount of money that would entice me to do some of the tasks required of a nurse on a daily basis. That being said, I do not believe the nurses union should receive the 24% over 2 years. You dont have to be a rocket scientist to know that when those 2 years are up the union will again ask for an increase in the ballpark of 20-25% over another 2 years. Congratulations nurses, youve just received a 50%raise in 4 years and it is the people of the province that will suffer. I have no doubt that this may result in some nurses returning/staying in the province to work, however it will not solve the problems facing our health care system today. Unfortunately in recent months, just about anything wrong with the system has been blamed on the nursing shortage. There was a news article maybe a month ago concerning a lady whose cancer surgery was delayed due to a lack of icu beds available. Somehow this was due to the nursing shortage (15 icu beds and 18 icu patients...seems like a bed shortage issue to me). I would rather see tax payers money go towards more ct scanners and mri machines to find the cancer and help make radiation treatments more accurate; and we need nurses out of managerial positions. We have shortages and inequities in all health care fields, giving one group as large as the nurses union a large raise will do nothing to help health care as a whole.
    I am not saying I agree with dannys tactics, however the nurses union need to look at the big picture. Support from the people of the province as well as members of the nursing union itself is declining. Rather than 12% and 12%. Id like to see them get 12%, 12%, 0% and 0%. This provides the frontloaded 24% so many here have said is cruicial to solve the nursing shortage, but also saves the people of the province of facing this very situation of having to listen to Debbie in 2 years time.
    All health care workers who have direct patient care deserve a 40% raise based on the quality of care they provide, amount of effort they put into their job, the stress they face from having to make sure patients are discharged as soon as humanly possible to free up another bed for someone whos been waiting on a stretcher in emerg for 10hrs, and the harassment (verbal and physical) they deal with from patients and their family members on a daily basis.
    And to reply to some comments written in other posts..not all nurses work 12 hr shiftsmany have moved to 8-4 jobs M-F ( management, research, cath lab, day surgery, pre-admission clinic, etc), I have heard nurses be called in for overtime on the precious day offand heard them say no without penalty, j have seen nurses carryon a conversation about all things non-work related after a patient has gotten their attention for assistance, and Ive seen nurses shop online or check email/facebook while not on break. (maybe this is due to the free time they have now that they are not moving or cleaning equipment/beds, portering patients, or emptying garbages). I know this is not catch-all, however nurses need to get off their high-horse and reconsider some of the comments made by nurses/Debbie while remembering what it means to be a professional with the main priority being the patient. Focus on patient care, if you want alberta money go to alberta.

  • Longshanks
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    The public is sick of hearing that 20% is not enough. I agree that there needs to be more full time jobs for nurses but as far as I can tell they don't want them. They want to get more money by having less deducted from their cheque because they are casual and they want the freedom to not answer the phone if they don't want to work. The nurses need to quit whining and the Government needs to make nursing in Newfoundland more appealings (Full time positions, paid transfers, high light the benifits of living in NL.)

  • jen
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    I agree the nurses should take what they are given , my job title doesn't say I have to empty garbage or clean but I do it Just to help out ! I think Danny Williams is doing an excellent job ! He can only give the Nurses what the province can afford to give . Do you want this province to end up like United States ? I AM A MEMBER Of Nape . I think 20% is excellent ! Take it while you can ! soon everyone will end up on strike and get nothing in the end ! Strike Pay is what you will get and the lost wages and in the end the result will be you will end up with less !

  • Barry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Go do something usefull, like iron me A shirt or wash the dishes. Your foolishness is starting to get old.

  • ???
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Fact...Newfoundland is short 1017 nurses.
    Fact ...Newfoundland nurses are the lowest paid in Canada.
    Fact...the Newfoundland government is using public money to bully nurses.
    Fact...the Newfoundland MHAs are the second highest paid government members in Canada plus they get generous allowances
    Fact...had we not endured years of wage freezes and had our pay equity taken from us we would be on par with the Atlantic provinces..
    Fact...During the last election there was
    Not a shortage of politicians
    I am a nurse. some days when my back is aching and I haven't had a break I wonder why. But I feel like I make a difference to my patients and their families and so I continue to do this. I will still leave my child to come to work on Christmas Day. I will continue to come to work on my days off and in blizzards so bad that the snowplows are taken off the road for their safety.
    Many of the comments that are written here break my heart. But I will continue to do my best even when I am exhausted for each of you if you become sick. Everyone deserves to be cared for when they are sick no matter how ignorant or cynical they are when they are healthy.

  • Ed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Why are there so many people bashing the nurses here. Areyou paid for your insipid comments? Are you management exploiters? Ok, fine. But if you are working slobs who resent those who are members of unions then you need to do something about that. Right? Our nurses deserve our respect. I hope you never have to learn this lesson the hard way.

  • Michelle
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Equal pay for equal work is more than fair when you consider logistics coordinators at Technip (oil) get paid $1500/day (yes... a day) here in St. John's. I know this because that is where a family member works and what that person gets paid. If we were to consider cost of living, how could that rate of pay be justifiable here in Newfoundland ? It doesn't. But many other professions here in Newfoundland are the same way. Why should there be a double standard for nurses ? Why would a nurse work here in this province at a lower rate of pay when they could move to another province where the rate of pay is higher ? Although the cost of living may be higher resulting in similar lifestyles while working, it is when they retire, they liquidate their assets in that distant province and move back here. This results in selling a much higher priced property which gives them a large advantage if they move back to retire. Higher wages from living away results in larger pension plans too, for when they come back and retire on them. So where's the incentive to stay and work here ? This is what I did, although I'm not a nurse, it still applied. Equal pay for equal work would allow nurses to end up with the same net financial advantage while staying in Newfoundland as opposed to moving away to accumulate their assets there. We use Canadian dollars here in Newfoundland too. To further my point, how far will this cost of living argument go ? Will we discriminate nurses pay based on whether you live in downtown St. John's as opposed to in the Upper Gullies ? Maybe I shouldn't even have mentioned this for fear more '50s style hospital management will be hired to pursue this idea. But if you want pay to be commensurated with cost of living, you must realize that you can buy a house on a 1 acre lot on a credit card in some areas within this province of Newfoundland, and still drive to work. But in other areas of this province the price of homes is still sky-rocketting while in the rest of Canada it is plummetting (Sept real estate prices dropped 13% this year over last year in T.O.). So whose cost of living do you use ? A townie's ? Or a baymen's ? How far will this go ? If I had my time back I'd have done the exact same thing. Move the to the big Canadian cities, get paid artifically-inflated wages and pay for the artificially high priced homes, and when all is said and done, move back to Newfoundland and enjoy the windfall. Why would I or the nurses stay here to work ? I don't believe this is something you can play games with. Does the province really want to take this chance ? Treat the nurses fairly, especially in light of the fact it is an extremely busy and stressful workplace where mistakes do not just cost money. If your loved one's life was in question and you went to the desk looking for a nurse, while in the hospital, and you couldn't find one because they were doing a non-related task elsewhere, how would you feel ? Would you take it out on the nurse ? Think before you speak, many here are not. Oh, and if you're one of those who advocates cleaning toilets and other things as part of this politically correct, go-team-go approach of every helps out at your office place, maybe you should ask yourself if you're one step closer to the door and start writing your resume. Nurses simply do not have this time on their hands.

  • karin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    First of all, to all of you who support nurses, thank you.
    Second, to CA from NL; if you carry out duties that are not part of your job description as an accountant, well bully for you! I don't think that someone's life may be in danger while you're cleaning the toilet or vacuuming!!
    And to set the record straight, i do perform non-nursing duties, if not doing so will impact negatively on my patients. I will clean up a mess on the bathroom floor,in a four bed room, if house-keeping is not immediately available. For me not to do so could result in another patient using that washroom sustaining an injury. How would you feel if you were that patient, and you slipped and broke your leg? That's a risk I'm not willing to take for my patients; not even someone as ignorant as you. We treat all patients alike.
    As for your comment, and I quote, Start caring for your patients.....
    end quote, I started caring for my patients in my first year of nursing school,which was 1981. And I haven't stopped.
    I hope to God, for your sake, you never get sick and require the services of the nurses that you insulted today.Not that you wouldn't receive the same care as anyone else; you would.
    But, God forbid you should get sick, or know someone who does; I'll wager the 20% raise offer that you'll be eating your words!! Bon appetite!!

  • HARRY
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    HOW DO YOU KNOW ITS GOING TO BE COLDER IN JANURARY ......NURSES KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

  • Sherri
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    To Carol Doran and L - I hear you regarding the issues - the problem is that is not what is being put forth by the media or by your fearless leader Ms. Forward. All that is being talked about is the fact that 20% over 4 years is not acceptable. You are being represented poorly by the person who is representing you to the public. I do agree, more money is not going to solve the problem and that alot more needs to happen - but I will say again what I have already stated you have to be willing to go to the table - if you are out protesting, and your leader is stating that 20% is not enough that is the impression that John Q Public gets.

  • V
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Sherri from ON: Nurses in NL understand only too well that the nursing shortage is global--we keep losing our very well-educated nursing grads to other places that are more willing to face that fact and attempt to secure their own futures in an environment where demand outweighs supply. Many of the issues you speak to are the very ones that are making NL nurses stand firm in their position. It seems that nurses can repeat as often as they please that this is not all about money but it keeps falling on deaf ears. For example, nurses are also advocating for increased support staffing levels but people choose to ignore that fact in their rants against nurses. Unfortunately for everyone, time will prove that the nurses are right. Fortunately for the NL public, nurses are willing to sacrifice their own financial stability (via a possible strike) to fight for healthcare in our province, because the powers that be refuse to do so.

  • Thought so
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Jacee from NL writes: Wait a minute. They drew up placards. That's not a 'nursing duty'!!!! For shame! \\ No, it is not a nursing duty . However it IS UNION ACTIVITY of which they ARE members, and PARTICIPATE in...

  • md
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    I am one of the nurses who attended the rally yesterday. As we were standing there we began to talk about the strike we had in 1999. Then I realized that of all the nurses there, only one would still be there 10 years from now. I will retire in 8 years , many of the nurses there will retire before me. I am asking everyone who reads these comments to take a good look at the pictures of the nurses at the rally. Most of them are near retirement. New graduates are not staying here. In 1999 when we warned of the impending shortage, Chuck Furey stood on the steps of Confederation Building and told us to pack our bags if we didn't like it here. Well many did and they did not come back. At some point everyone one of us will need the healthcare system. If you have a serious illness in 10 years, who will be there to care for you? How far will you have to travel for surgery? We are already short 1017 nurses, 1000 more will retire over the next 8 years. Even if we were able to keep every nurse who graduates in the next 8 years, the shortage will worsen. Twenty years ago I could work whatever overtime that was demanded of me. I can't do it anymore. I am counting the days until I retire. Please do not believe Government's smoke screen. This nursing shortage is causing a severe crisis in healthcare. Something has to be done.

  • Sherri
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    I will say it again, take your 20%, and go to the bargaining table about the rest of the issues. This is the only way to get what you want. All those out there who think a strike is the answer are dead wrong - strike pay pretty much equals NO PAY - so even at the end if you get more then 20% you will be recovering from your lost wages for years. I agree nurses deserve better but sit down and bargain - Ms. Forward is not doing any one of you any service at all by not letting that happen.

  • Bea
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    My 'Bea in the Bonnet' is because of silly comments, like:

    To quote...

    Nurses do all the work in any hospital .

    Nurses do NOT do all the work in any hospital.

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Thought so from NL:
    It's called other related duties. I have many of them in my job that I don't agree with either. The bottom line is, the nurses and their union are looking to cash in. They're no more entitled than the rest of us.

  • Carol
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    It's not just about 20%. It's about being bullied into a 4 yr contract. It's about nurse:patient ratios that are unsafe. It's about not graduating enough nurses and not giving them incentive to stay. It's about starting now to deal with nurses leaving and 25% who will be eligible to retire by 2015. We don't expect to solve it all in one contract, but government has told our negotiating team that if we don't accept a 4 year contract, then there is nothing more to discuss. Pattern bargaining is a ridiculous concept. It's a lazy way out for government - let's give them all the same and be done with it. Nurses won't stand for it and the public shouldn't either. The nurses are focused on improving the quality of patient care in this province. This year we want a 2 year contract, maybe down the road when improvements are seen, a 4 year contract would be OK. That's what bargaining is all about.

  • rick
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    As seen, Nursing shortages appear to be a trans-Canadian, US/UK reality. The NLNU armband and headlines, we are told, are all about the Shortage not Money. Then one assumes that Nurse Recruiters need to go back to the drawing board because for all their good work, over all those years, they have regrettably failed in the recruiting task. There are countries trained on the UK Nursing standards/protocols where Nurses are lucky to be paid $100-$200/month; we have Doctors from some of those countries and those left behind are lucky to be making $500/month. I suggest there are many waiting to be employed throughout NL. Of course wages reflect the cost of living, even far away from Alberta. Kick start recruiting once more, and this time drive beyond the Anglo Saxon borders. Good Luck with your challenge.

  • L
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Being a nurse that has done my time working out of province, I can tell you...we're not all as greedy as you seem to think we are. I worked in a northern setting...where I was making over $6/hr more than I do here. I also got paid a northern allowance of $11,000/yr. Plus, I received a 4-digit sign on bonus...then another 4-digit bonus every 3 months, after committing 3 years of my life to the job. I had a pretty comfortable lifestyle. I left it all to return to NL to raise my family. It was more important for us to be home with family, and for our children to grow up in our hometown. So...as many of you seem to think...we all aren't out for the mighty dollar. If you took a minute to actually listen to the issues, you might realize that.

  • M
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Amazing.....simply amazing. Funny how some people are right quick to bash RNs, but seem to have a GREAT deal of difficulty in sticking to what THIS story is actually ABOUT. RNs gave up their half- hour ( we do NOT get a FULL ONE HOUR lunch break ) to try and bring to the public's attention about a situation that had occurred in Botwood - a HOUSEKEEPING manager ordered an RN to call back housekeeping staff. In OTHER words, do HIS job, and maybe have to leave her patients unattended while she did HIS job, and spend God-knows HOW long trying to GET someone. SHE only wanted to do HER job, and take CARE of her patients, and NOT take time AWAY from them to do HIS job. And WHAT happens? SHE got disciplined for not doing HIS job!! Just WHAT, pray tell, is that HOUSEKEEPING supervisor's JOB?? How do i apply for a job like HIS?? Get OTHER people to neglect THEIR primary job and do YOURS, instead.
    IF you think there's no RN shortage, then you go right ahead and TELL people who are waiting for an ICU bed, and can't GET one because there are not enough ICU RNs there, that there is NO shortage. TELL people who've had their surgeries cancelled or delayed, because there are not enough OR RNs, that there is NO shortage. TELL people who have been sent home from hospital, who need a daily visit from an RN, but can't get that daily visit because there are not enough RNs to do what must be done, that there is NO shortage. TELL people who wait in an Emergency Dept, on a stretcher, in a hallway,sometimes for DAYS, just lying there, WAITING for a unit to open up. and knowing it may be a while,because they need RNs, and there are none, that there IS no Nursing shortage.
    And FINALLY, tell the poor patients in Botwood, who needed their RN to do HER job, and take care of them, that THEY will have to wait to be taken care of, because their RN had to do the HOUSEKEEPING MANAGER's job!!

  • Doug
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Nurses, this is a wake up call, you are losing public support! Get rid of that irresponsible Debbie Forward. People are sick of seeing her face on the T.V. Stop your money grubbing ways. You have been offered a good deal! Take it, take it!!

  • V
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    RED: I am a professional living in the real world and I don't empty garbage cans or disinfect anyone's bathroom but my own. And you can be assured by that statement that I am NOT a nurse, given the fact that they are forced to do so.

    I don't know what profession you belong to, but I am not hesitant to bet that most professionals don't willingly take on any of those duties either. When was the last time you saw a doctor or lawyer or teacher or engineer doing those things in the workplace. Wherever you live, I can assure you, it ain't the real world.

  • Darrin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    If you want to compare to Alberta and other areas - then go there and work!! A lot of us could go elsewhere and make signifiacntly more money, but also encounter significantly more trouble and issues as well. However, many of us choose to live here because of family, a way of life and just being a newfie. I got my 20% increase recently and I am certainly not complaining. Part of the problem as I see it is that you nurses along with many others cannot live on your so-called poor salaries because you are trying to live the lives of kings and queens - trips everything down south, large SUV's and trucks, big homes and other luxuary types of living. Stay modest and be happy. 20% across the board is fair enough - otherwise - leave!!!

  • V
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Actually, RED, I did not confuse the two, but thanks for the pseudo-English/life lesson.

    I'm sure your employer appreciates paying you accountant wages to polish desks. But hey, if you've got the time!

  • CA
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    I am an accountant. I work at a small firm and my job description is as follows: Prepare and file returns, analyze financial data and prepare financial statements, conduct audits, ect. However, there are other things I also do while at work, which include: take out the garbage, dust around the office, and sometimes I even clean the bathroom. Oh and we can't forget vacuuming occasionally. Along with those janitorial duties, sometimes I also do administrative work such as filing client data, ordering office supplies, or answering the phone and taking a message for a colleague. Also, I do computer support work sometimes, when things go awry.

    Despite all of the work I do that is not part of my job description, you don't see me complaining! Or any other people who have a job for that matter, because let's face it, NOBODY does only the work that is written in their job description. It's just a fact of life and these nurses need to get over it! Stop being foolish, take the 20% and get back to work. Start caring for your patients, the main part of your beloved job description that have seemingly forgotten about!

  • Peter
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    People have to realize that nurses need help. No matter where you are in Canada you should support nurses getting higher salaries wherever they are because it only sets a new standard for your province to go by. I don't understand why a nurse or person from another province would not support the nurses here?? The only way you'll solve the nursing shortage is to support new grads, offer higher pay to get them to stay here, etc.

    Secondly, for people complaining that nurses are paid enough I'd have to disagree. There are so many other professions that have no more schooling than an RN does, and they are way overpaid for what they do. There are clerical people in the hospital almost making the same salary as nurses who are starting out, Pharmacists make a fortune by comparison and nurses are out there on the front-lines, identifying serious problems before a doctor or specialist can get to see them. They really are a misunderstood profession. If doctors needed a pay raise to keep them here in the province and to attract some more staff then doesn't it make sense that nurses should be under the same sort of pressure doctors are? I'd say even more in some cases, I really feel for the doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals. There are so many over-paid government people who get to go home at 4:30, have their 30 minute coffee breaks, 1 hour lunches, family days, etc. They are spoiled, self righteous, and downright mean in how they treat other people of their same province it's terrible.
    Finally, if people in any other profession had someone fighting for higher salary on their behalf, they'd want to get as much as they can get too. Especially given the working conditions that some nursing areas have. Being a Cook/Chef here in town, no-one is looking out for me. I'm in one of the most stress-full, lowest paying. long-hours jobs out there and there is no union looking out for me. I wish I did because I'd be doing just what the nurses are doing, asking for a fair share. Do I come down on them....no because I understand that they need HELP, not money, and this is what people just aren't getting.
    Go nurses! I just might need you to help me someday when something happens. I just hope the patient/nurse ratio won't be 15/1 by that time. Cheers/peace all.

  • Jen
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    WOW KRISTA ! we already heard what you had to say and I THINK YOU WRONG ! I think the nurses should take what they are given ! YOU MUST BE A NURSE YOURSELF ! I will tell you this much I AM A NAPE WORKER ! I think we are going way overboard here ! Take the 20% we are lucky to get that ! I have read all comments , you say it's not about the money But IT IS ! Take the 20% and think yourself lucky to get that !

  • Krista
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Wow!! To those of you who are posting negative comments here, shame on you!! You so obviously have NO clue as to what is actually going on in our healthcare system!! I guess ignorance really is bliss! I hope that the day never comes when you are sick and need to be cared for by one of these nurses you are bashing!!! It sickens me to think that people think this fight is all about money. That is so far from the truth! The nurses in this province need and deserve our support and respect right now, they are, after all the backbone of our healthcare. Let every nurse walk out for even just a few hours and see how long the system holds up without them. I for one am 100% behind them and hope they win this fight and get everything they so rightly deserve! God bless the nurses!!!

  • T
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Bill is absolutly right its called Past Practice nurses be careful of refusing work Unions don't always make you aware of the concequences. Take the 20% its a great deal!! Work on the more important things like pension, full time status and benefits.

    Good Luck Nurses!!!!

  • Jacee
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Wait a minute. They drew up placards. That's not a 'nursing duty'!!!! For shame!

  • Bea
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    I've been on the receiving end of REALLY BAD NURSING, i.e. forgetting all about an IV drip, which needed changing; trying to find the nurse who was supposed to be taking care of me after back surgery, only to find her hiding in a closet with another person!
    But that's not the point.
    In my book, whenever a job needs doing, then whoever is available should do it.
    My husband is a medical doctor, a consultant surgeon, but is certainly more than willing to do jobs outside his scope of expertise, e.g. I have seen him cut a patient's toenails, wash their feet, filing, answering the phone when his secretary was run off her feet, shredding paper, making coffee, helping patients undress and dress, tying shoelaces, escort frail or unsteady patients from the waiting room to the examining room. Why, you may ask. Well, someone had to do those things, and the person who generally did them was busy doing something else.
    He doesn't get to go home and forget about everything and everyone until the next time he goes to work. His physical working hours are, on average, around 16 hours per day. But he has to be available 24 hours per day.
    Just get on with doing whatever is necessary for the well-being and comfort of the patient.

  • Thought so
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    RED from NL -- I have NO union affiliate. I used to. I now work for myself...I apply what my union has shown me as appropriate in daily discourse with my employees.. These employees are my ASSETS and with out my business would not be profitable.. The sad part is that people like you are associated with a why the hell should they be doing better than me attitude. Your assumption is that the housekeeping and filing etc. duties are all done by employees as pitching in to lighten the load....I don't know where you work , but I can tell you categorically that in the 15 or so years that that I have provided cleaning services for my clients these things are NOT done by employees. In fact regularly, garbage receptacles are overflowing and bathrooms are NOT cleaned....the only thing that I have not done is file documents and type letters. If your employees are doing this type of work they are NOT doing THEIR job, they are doing someone else's, and as such their production is stymied. Being helpful is not in the equation except in a group or family setting. All that is being done is diverting energies that could be used in the job you were hired to do. If the time is there to do others' work then you should take a cut in pay to reflect the level of intelligence applied to effect the work.
    What makes me different? Well, I guess the fact that I employ myself separates me from the rest. The admonition that 20% is more than most see probably holds some credence, however having wages frozen and rolled back over the past 15 or so years is something than NONE of us has seen -- not even you.

  • a professional
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    I am a PROFESSIONAL. I am a nurse. I went to University for 4 years plus 1 of general studies to obtain the title of professional...
    Nursing is a self-regulated profession because of the specialized body of knowledge that we must use every day in our work life.. If we were not at the bedside's who would be responsible for patient's lives?
    I don't really care if Ontario, quebec or tim-buck-too is short nurses..the fact is that we - newfoundlanders- do not have enough nurses to sustain a viable health care system. We need more nurses.
    Nurses in Newfoundland need help..we are stressed to the max and are burned out...we are tired of dreading a day off because we know our phone will be ringing at 0600 and we will be demanded to spend another day away from our family and children.
    I do not remember the last time I was able to have a supper break or afternoon break at work because there is no time.
    Why should I empty garabge can's? Is a doctor expected to do that? Is a janitor expected to take a patient's pulse or change their dressing?

  • Sarah
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Go to www.nursingshortage.ca and read the facts before you bash the nurses...

    Some people aren't looking at the reason nurses are asking for more money.

    They just see
    20 %/4yrs
    20 %/4yrs
    20 %/4yrs
    20 %/4yrs.

    If nurses stood by and accepted the 20% increase and went back to bargain the other issues with positions and what not, they would also be ignoring them! The 24% increase the nurses want IS part of the solution to the problems. If they took the 20% over 4 years, they would still be the lowest paid nurses in Canada in 4 years. Nurses go other places for more money, so a strategy for recruitment and retainment of nurses is to give them more money...

    The nursing profession in NL needs more nurses but the government isn't offering anything close to competitive compared to even the rest of Atlantic Canada.

    www.nursingshortage.ca

  • Doug
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    To C from NL...my mother was also a nurse and told me the real truth about the job of the nurse so spare me the drama. If a patient needs a nurse to keep a finger on a aorta, that is what she is required to do and god love her/him for doing so. That is the nature of the job. The nurse that is leaving the post to bring out the garbage or unclogging the toilet should be fired or reprimanded. You can say that it is not about the money...come on!! The Texan organizer for the job fair that went on some time ago stated that the most common question was...how much do you pay? Nurses are worked to the bone and endure stressful situations but they aren't the only ones. Try being a police officer staring down the barrel of a gun or knife. How about the coast guard officer risking life and limb to save a fisherman washed overboard. We all should be paid a lot more for what we do but we know that is not possible, but we know a fair deal when we see one. Take the deal and put this behind you!

  • Natalie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    To those of you who are posting that they have other duties built into their jobs, I have this to say to you: while you're disinfecting that bathroom, is a person dying in the next room when you should be there to help them? While you're filing you're papers, is there a woman in the bed across the hall in agony because she needs her pain medication but you're to busy processing the order for it to give it to her? While you're calling staffing from other departments because something is broke an needs to be fixed, is there an old man who needs someone to talk to or take a walk with? While you're emptying the trash cans is there a family member standing in the hallway sobbing because they just found out their child has terminal cancer? This is a daily occurence for nurses....people falling apart around them and they have to do not only the work they were trained to do, the work they WANT to do, but the work that belongs to support staff. VERY IMPORTANT support staff. This isn't just about nurses, and I think they are making that VERY CLEAR. Changes need to be made in the Newfoundland hospitals. Nurses need to be able to get back to what they're there for: patient care.

  • Calvin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    @Thought so from nl writes: 'Ask around garages and electrical shops, the construction sites and heavy equipment and welding places about not being able to get people to work there. Your answer will be Jesu*, b'y everybody is gone. They're all in Fort Mac, or up in Alberta at the tar sans....I s'pose the money is better there!'

    Then why doesn't the NL owner just offer Alberta wages? Simple... because they can't afford it. It's either have unfilled jobs and do most of the work with what they got or pay Alberta wages and go bankrupt and put everyone out of work... the same situation our government is in... exactly the same. So what's the answer... what does the owner/government do?

  • C
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Doug: You've misread my comment and have seconded the point I have already made - lol. I said a nurse keeping their finger on someone's aorta is their job, as opposed to taking out the garbage. I hope you and others like you take the time to read all the facts and form educated opinions about the importance of nursing in our society rather than rushing to judgement, misquoting others and making incorrect comments. This is the hurdle this debate must overcome. I feel if people took the time to understand the relevant facts and try not to interject their own personal peeves about pay rates they would see that the issue is much larger than themselves.

  • Sherri
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Note to Cal, I am actually not a nurse - I am a recruiter for an Ontario hospital...the pay is not the biggest issue which is the thing I learned last week. The fact of the matter is there are no full time jobs and I spoke to a large number of nurses who we upset because in order to move back to Newfoundland they would have to take temporary positions. And yes, I have heard of equal pay for equal work however salaries in each province for every kind of position nursing or not are different - cost of living plays a factor no matter if you agree or not. While I do agree it is not the fault of nurses in NL that this differs they CANNOT and SHOULD not expect to be paid at the same rate as a nurse in Alberta, BC, Ontario you have to compare apples to apples and Ms Forward is just not.

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Sherri - nicely put. I think you have your head on straight. While some bonuses to get/keep people are almost inevitable, a 20% raise is more than most ever expect!

    And Cal, you need to wake up! It's also not our fault down here that we don't have the same amount of money as other places and thus pay HAS to be reflected in that. We may have a short term current account surplus, but we are saddled with huge debts that need to be repaid before we start handing out all the money to gov't unions. And it's the primary workers, such as mill workers, loggers, miners, farmers and fishermen who create the wealth, that makes for more jobs to support that industry, that allows taxes to be collected, that allows any gov't worker to be paid. Shouldn't they be the first to get the benefit of our surplus by paving roads, lowering taxes, etc? After all they are the ones making the economy run!!

  • Sarah
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Wow. That's all I can say about these ignorant negative comments about nurses in NL. It seems these people have no idea what nurses really do in the run of a work day. There are really sick people in the hospitals and the nurses are the front liners who directly care for them and use their assessment skills to prevent them from getting sicker. All of the non-nursing duties spoken of here have people who are hired for those specific duties. A nurse who is hired to keep their patients alive and help them recover from illness or surgery shouldn't be taken away from that for doing things they aren't supposed to be doing anyway. I find it mind boggling that some people just don't get it! I agree that 20% raise is a good deal when seen from the eyes of people outside of the nursing profession in NL, but nurses in NL are THE lowest paid in Canada... which means even if there were full time permanent positions available (which there are and they've been posted for weeks now) no one would want them because there are better jobs for nurses elsewhere in Canada. The cost of living here in NL is climbing rapidly. A bungalow sells for an average of $200,000 now... not that far off from the same house in AB (my sister lives there). I agree the nursing shortage is world-wide spread, but the situation here in NL is CRITICAL. We are in a crisis and people need to support their nurses if they want decent health care in the future when they get sick.

  • kma
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    I hope none of you nurse bashers require our expertise ! However, I venture to guess none of you have or you would have a different appreciation for what nurses endure. Maybe when it is you I have to take care of, I'll be too busy to deal with your chest pain or clean up your vomit because I am trying to call in someone from dietary or housekeeping ! I've noticed the times on the posts above and see that they are all made during working hours. I guess I know what you are being paid to do - read the Telegram on-line ! Need I say more ! I wish nurses had the luxury of reading the paper on line during working hours ! Shame on you people.

  • C
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Doug: you are so off base. Public support for nurses is GROWING. My mother was an ER nurse at the Health Sciences Complex/Grace/St. Claire's for 35 years, and I nor any family member have ever seen anyone so overworked and burned out in our entire lives. She never had time to eat lunch or even get off her feet - LITERALLY. Being distracted to take out the garbage is not an option if another person's life hangs in the balance. It may be in an office environment of some publicly unimportant profit-making business, but not when you have to keep your finger on someone's aorta to keep them from bleeding to death. Can you imagine a trauma patient entering Emergency and the doctors asking for a nurse are told that none is available because one is taking out the garbage, a second is unclogging the toilet, and a third is at the front desk admitting the 30+ people lined up to get band-aids put on their fingers (wasting precious time and money - which is so typical) ? Educate yourself. I've seen and experienced it firsthand how overworked they've always been. It is so unfair and very sad, and I can't believe hospital management is still just as bad. Growing up with a mother as an ER nurse made me realize just how hard it is for nurses - I would liken it to slavery. I just can't describe it. Please, please, please don't make stupid comments unless you REALLY know what it's like.

  • Ruth
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Bea-do you have a bonnet? Of course many people run a hospital. You have quite a gift for stating the obvious. But the doctors do very little except look at charts and push pills. The nurses do all the hard and dirty work. Of course, since you have a vested interest in the matter you might not be able to appreciate this inconvenient fact.

  • Thought so
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Mike from NL -- Think of it this way... If you are an electrician you occasionally have to drive nails or cut partitions to run wire. You occasionally ask the carpenter to help you IF you need. The carpenter will occasionally run a wire to fix a lighting problem where he is working. What would be the sense of having a building and electrical code if everybody crossed trades with out the papers to prove capability. The remark about heading out west if you don't like it here is a bit naive; Ask around garages and electrical shops, the construction sites and heavy equipment and welding places about not being able to get people to work there. Your answer will be Jesu*, b'y everybody is gone. They're all in Fort Mac, or up in Alberta at the tar sans....I s'pose the money is better there!

  • Krista
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Wow!! To those of you who are posting negative comments here, shame on you!! You so obviously have NO clue as to what is actually going on in our healthcare system!! I guess ignorance really is bliss! I hope that the day never comes when you are sick and need to be cared for by one of these nurses you are bashing!!! It sickens me to think that people think this fight is all about money. That is so far from the truth! The nurses in this province need and deserve our support and respect right now, they are, after all the backbone of our healthcare. Let every nurse walk out for even just a few hours and see how long the system holds up without them. I for one am 100% behind them and hope they win this fight and get everything they so rightly deserve! God bless the nurses!!!

  • Doug
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    By the way Thought so from NL. You sound like one of those money grubbing nurses that are trying to convince the public that they care about patients and not the money, give me a break!! why don't you catch a plane out west and see that the grass is not always greener on the other side. There is a lot of money to be made there. Make that big money and we will see you when you get back after retirement.

  • Bill
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    I hope the Union has advised it's members that refusing to perform their duties will result in discipline. Never mind all the hype about whether some duties are nursing or not. The fact is that nurses have been doing those things for a long time and they are within the realm of a nurses job. If any employee decided to tell her/his supervisor that she/he would no longer perform a duty that they had been performing for years, that employee would be disciplined. What makes nurses different?? A nurse's job description is not restricted to what the NNU is calling nursing duties. The place to change that is at the bargaining table, which is where the NNU should be

  • Gordon
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Cat from Newfoundland writes, nurses should be allowed to accept or reject any offer that is made to them, and that is their right (implying that the public should respect the nurses decisions). No disagreement here. She then goes on to note that this is a negotiation between the nurses and the Government (again implying the public should mind its own business when it comes to commenting on the contract negotiations). This is where I have a problem. The nurses were first to go public with their frustrations over the negotiations. The problem for the nurses is that most of the public dont support them on their 24%/2yr demand and applaud the Governments 20%/4yrs. The nurses tried to garner public support to get what they wanted, and it backfired. Boo Hoo. The nurses should realize the money offer is good. Start negotiating other terms like full time positions, etc. Otherwise, I dont think the nurses will look so energetic in January when they are supposedly going to be on the picket line.

  • MA
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    I stopped reading the ignorant and uneducated comments after the post by the accountant. While you are doing the janitorial work at your small firm, what exactly are you being kept from? I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing piles of paper or maybe a client who is most likely in good health. While I as a Registered Nurse is performing some sort of non-nursing duty, I am being kept from my patient! A pateint who is probably trying to get to the bathroom, and if I don't get to the patient quickly the pateint will probably fall on the floor. Would you like to learn that your family member fell on the floor, or was lying in their own urine or feces, or was having chest having chest pain and a nurse didn't respond right away because I was on the phone trying to fill a housekeeping shift? I don't think so!
    I have a full time position and many of the nurses who work with me do as well but that doesn't stop them from leaving this province for better working conditions. The only way new nurses will consider staying here or attracting nurses to come here is with a competitive contract and better working conditions.

  • W
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    I think you all need to take a freaking tranquilizer...and call the doctor in the morning...and maybe he can put you all to work!

  • TMW
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    just a comment - 95% of the nurses who were at the rally yesterday were on their DAY OFF - so, the signs were made on their own time!! Go Nurses go!!!

  • Calvin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    @Sherri from ON (originally from NL): I did professional recruitment as well. The first thing I learn't was that salaries was not the biggest issue. Salaries will always be higher somewhere else, so you need to fix the non-monetary issues to attract these people. Full time positions, tuition reduction, relocation allowance, pension and seniority transfer and manditory service are all issues to address the shortage, but it will never completely fix it. Multiple times I had to find a job for a spouce to get a specialized professional. This is perhaps a huge issue in NL as well. With a global shortage, those 1000 positions will never be filled, but you can fill a lot of them simply by addressing the non-monetary issues. I know specifically that seniority transfer is being held up by the union because members do not want a incoming nurse to be higher on the seniority list and take their position. They want more nurses to improve workign conditions, but only as long as they start at the bottom of the list. This fix comes from both sides here and the nurses certianly have to help themselves. Taking 24%-28% salary increase only deminishes the resources to put toward additional areas of recruitment.
    @C from NL: I beg to differ. During the past couple of strikes I always supported the nurses, but not this time. A lot of others I have spoken with feel the same. I am all for better health care and workplace improvments, but the nurses damands address neither. This pay increase will only give the current nurses more money, they will still be overworked with no vacation... because higher salaries do NOT mean filled positions. I know this first hand!

  • Thought so
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Mike -- take out the garbage! Disinfect the bathroom, and file that pile of patient records. When you've got that done, you can go back to your regular work -- you know - the work you were hired to do. Now, on the other hand, there are several vacancies in the field of those other things you were doing -- that is IF you would prefer that??!!

  • kimber
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Go Nurses Go! It's about time someone had the guts to stand up for healthcare in this province. Ignore the ignorant comments...you have support from the people whose lives you have touched. Keep up the fight!

  • Dic
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    all the focus is on the 20% pay raise here. people don't see the other issues. i'd say it is jealousy because they aren't getting 20% too.

  • Castaway
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Ive read so many comments here in which the commentators have lost sight of the issue and start attacking each other. What a shame; however, its not the first time Ive been exposed to this type of repartee among readers of the Telly. We should all keep in mind that in a civilized society, strike in any collective work group, is a final and a desperate action of signaling that there is something inherently very wrong in the system.

    The issues are not only monetary here, although, it does cost a lot more to live in Newfoundland just because of the isolation factor and the cost of transportation of- say fresh fruits and vegetables from the mainland, alone.

    There are other matters such as job description and duties which define a nurse or a bus driver or a teacher and professor. As professionals, each group goes beyond their call of their duty and performs more than what their collective agreement has outlined in black on white. Unfortunately, as long as individual members of the professional groups give, alls fine and noone complains until the GIVING becomes a GIVEN, expected of them all the time . The minute their burden becomes overwhelming and challenges their main duties, jeopardizing the welfare of the group for whom they are responsible - i.e: patients, students, etc, society starts judging them, pointing fingers, ridiculing and putting them down.

    This is what is happening on this comment forum.

    Nurses are entitled to perform their duties which is taking care of patients to the best of their abilities without having been expected to do other, unrelated duties. In a province where health care is currently in shambles and peoples collective faith is diminishing every day, I fail to understand how some commentators here can even think of attacking or mocking one of the most important group of this society, Nurses. Who knows when you will need the care of a nurse? And when you do, would you rather have one who is busy performing other duties, or one who can devote a hundred percent of his or her care to you?

    To play on Hemingway's words: Mock not that the bells are tolling- for one day, they may be tolling for you.

  • craig
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Re-start the nursing school programs and start churning out RNs again (they are just as good as the BNs). This BN bull**** has to stop. It seemed like when nurses were trained in the hospital's RN programs there was always more than enough of them and they didn't have these overwhelming salary increases every time you turn around - just like the friggin teachers.

  • Nancy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    I am unclear as to why nurses are involved with the housekeeping staff. Where is housekeeping management? Why are nurses calling in housekeepers or performing housekeeping duties? Do RN's have to clean rooms and mop floors? Aren't the housekeeping staff represented by a union as well? I am a nurse and I worked at the HSC for a short time before I moved to Texas in 1991....the more I read the more I am certain I made the right decision. In regards to the comment about full-time positions....if there is a shortage why won't the government offer nurses full-time employment? This was a major problem when I graduated in '91 and it is disappointing to see that it still exists. Many of my friends are nurses who remained in Nfld and I hear stories about their work environment and the status of health care at home. The public needs to listen to what the nurses are saying...it is not all about money.....who better to advocate for the public than the nurses? I caution the public to examine the issues further. Many people have passed comment on the nurses based on what they saw or experienced during a hospital stay. Although these comments are valid the observations of a patient or a family member are limited in their scope. The public needs to recognize the expertise of nurses and trust that nurses are acting in the best interest of those they serve.

  • R
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    The message here is that there was a housekeeping manager who is paid to manage his/her staff. They should be calling in their own staff & let the nurses take care of their patients. The nurse wasn't refusing to call in another nurse, she refused to call in housekeeping.

  • Thought so
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Doug from St. Johns, NL -- You missed the mark old man.... I have no association what so ever. I provide my own employment.....but I do treat my employees good and I get treated well in kind .. That's what it's ALL ABOUT -- RESPECT..

  • RED
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    Hey Thought so , no trouble figuring your a union member, or perhapse an employee ( is your alias Debbie? )

    In the real world, and in every walk of life, all sensible people/employees empty garbage cans, disinfect the bathroom, and do filing, paperwork and labour work or run errands not listed as Main duties of our employment. This, however, does not belittle our professionalism, it enhances it We merely pitch in and help wherever it is needed.

    It's the same lesson we try to teach our children as they grow: to help, and try to be helpful.

    What makes you any different?

    Oh Yeah! The offer of a 20% raise that most of us do not get.

    Stop complaining....

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    Go back to work!

  • Part Time is fine?
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    They talk about full time permanent employment and how it would help fix the shortage. The funny thing is that there are casual nurses who refuse to take full time permanent jobs because it effects their social schedule. I know one particular nurse who picks her shifts. She gets full time hours when she wants them. If she decides to go on holidays or has something scheduled for a weekend, she just don't answer her phone or refuses to work certain shifts. I think the problem is bigger than not enough full time jobs....

  • cal
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Let the Nurses Settle their own affairs, sure their salary comes from the Government Purse but they have a right to protest, accept, reject any offer, its their right as members of Nape. The public certainly has an interest, however, it is a contract dispute between the Government and a Union. A messge to Sherri, next time your contract is due, give your self a break and accept what ever is offered and be happy you are working and have a job (not a pleasant thought is it Sherri, btw did you find a positon here in NL when you attended the Job Fair). I am sure you have heard of equal pay for equal work! Its not the NL nurses fault the cost of living is higher or lower in other provinces. Again let the Nurses solve their own affairs.

  • Darrel
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Calvin...your sob story will not garnish any sympathies from me. Go out of business - I don't care. Nurse are more important than your workplace and I don't even know what your so-called business is (and I don't care). But I'll bet one thing, you are raking in a lot more money than your employees by a very large margin. There is no option to have nurses or not so budget is a moot point. If need be, gov't can axe other programs, probably some of those you have been taking advantage of to reduce your operating costs. I and many others do not buy this carte blanche statement that Newfoundland businesses are just hanging in there by a thread. Open your eyes and have a look around at all the big SUVs and sports cars parked outside the buildings in the industrial parks and come back and tell me your sob story again.

    I believe the nurses have the vast majority of support in day to day discussions with people, and so they should. You had better hope you don't wind up in the hospital if gov't runs the hospitals like a business (all the money would probably be embezzled).

  • Doug
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    I've said it once and I'll say it again...you nurses are losing support from the public. You are holding us hostage and holding your threat over our heads. There is still a lot of talk about money in this forum. If I require nursing care in the future, I promise I won't ask you to empty the garbage or unclog the toilet.

  • Thought so
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Mike -- Nurses demonstrated at lunchtime....

    A demonstration is a legitimate activity on THEIR TIME... As well no strike action has been actioned --- YET!!
    What they do, and what you do on YOUR time is NOBODIES business.....

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    I will agree that Debbie Forward and the Union Excutive are not doing justice in expaining there case, nonetheless I suppport the nurses 100%. I'm from Newfoundland but now live and work as a nurse in the US. I have been a nurse for 10 years. If I came back to NF, my salary would drop by approx 40,000 and I would be paid the same as a nurse with 1-2years experience and only have Casual work with full time hours. Now, I ask you, is this appropriate for a profession that needs nurses, needs to be competitive to recruit and retain Nurses. Absolutly 100% not. There is nothing for me to come home to in regards to being a Nurse and to compete they need much more to help the profession that has a National shortage. Additionally There needs to be more public outcry from the Medical association. It seems like the political issues prevent such support however that indorsement of support is needed in a time of crisis and this is surely a time of crisis for the Nursing profession in Newfoundland. The Doctors know this, and need to be more vocal on the issues and how it affects overal patient care.

  • Thought so
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Calvin from NL --- Then why doesn't the NL owner just offer Alberta wages?

    I suspect that's a - bait - question!!?? I have an acquaintance working just north of Calgary. He drives a double axle tandem and a flat bed. I suppose you could call him a truck driver. He gets paid his time driving OR stopped waiting between 35-$45.00 per hour regular time. His over time is paid at time and half. His days off are paid at double time and if that day off is on a statutory holiday it's triple time......Does THAT answer your question??

  • Ruth
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Nurses do all the work in any hospital. Without them our health care would close shop. I am not a nurse but when my mother was dying in the hospital last year the nurses were spendid....the doctors were all away somewhere....golfing maybe? I do not know all the details of this case but I support the nurses. God bless and good luck to all our health care workers.

  • Sherri
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    Hi Calvin from NL, I totally agree that salary alone will not fix the problem - to every one else who says money is not the issue - why don't the other issues come out in the news, if indeed it is not the salary then that should not be what Ms. Forward is talking about to the media, she should be focusing on the other things at hand. Take the 20% and then work to fix the other things cause before you know it time will have run out and the money won't be there for the 20% increase either.

  • Calvin
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Darrel from NL writes: Calvin... You say, Then why doesn't the NL owner just offer Alberta wages? Simple... because they can get away with it. It's all about what you can get away with (today's business motto). Don't worry, these guys won't go bankrupt - they'll just lay you off to keep their profit margins in line with the big oil companies while demanding the other workers to pitch in.

    Where the heck did big oil companies come from. The reference was to garages, welding shops, heavy equipment. I own a small business and can't find skilled workers. If I offer Alberta wages the company will go bankrupt... I guarentee you... you can even see the books if you like. I also work a second job because there isn't enough business for me to live off my company alone. So I either make due with the workers I have or offer Alberta wages to fill the jobs and then go bankrupt within 8 months. I doubt the 4 families of my workers would appreceiate loosing their sole income. Ask any business in this province if they can afford to pay Alberta wages... any single one. The nursing situation is the same. Just in case you haven't realized, this isn't Alberta... we have the highest per capita debt (Alberta no debt), larger geography (Alberta smaller), smaller population and less employment opportunities. So why don't we just give everyone Alberta wages to fill all the jobs... nurses included. Where's the money going to come from? Then you'll be the first person to complain because your taxes went up 30% just to cover all those raises. The government has a budget, just like every person in the province... spend within your means or go bankrupt.

  • Renee
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Its very sad to see such ignorance in a lot of the comments I've read. Obviously, some people have no idea what they are talking about. You cannot compare apples to oranges. Nursing is a profession that is unique and has its own issues. You can't compare it to being an electrician or an accountant.

    We are having a major HEALTH CARE CRISIS in Newfoundland and one of the areas that is suffering is Nursing! This is obvious to anyone who has spent any amount of time in one of the local hospitals.

    There are not enough Nurses now, more will be retiring soon and the government is not doing enough to retain the new grads that come out of university with huge loans or to recruit the Nurses who are wanting to come home from the USA or across Canada. Of course the new grads are leaving! How are they supposed to pay back these loans on the wages they receive here? How can they support themselves, their families, pay the bills and pay back these huge loans? And why would they want to start their careers in such a terrible situation that is ongoing in our hospitals?

    I support the Nurses 110%!!

    These Nurses, although they chose this profession, have given up so much to help others. They do not get to put their children to bed every night . They do not get to take time off at leisure or even plan a holiday. They can't even have a day off without the threat of being demanded in...which means they have no choice...management orders then in. That's not fair.

    Take some time to talk to a few of these Nurses and listen to their stories. Ask them how they are impacted by the shortage and the extra demands that are placed on them in the workplace. Ask them if they were able to do everything they wanted to do for their patients that day. The answers will frighten you. I've asked!!

    It is not only about the money!! They are frustrated, tired, burnt out, and want a contract that is fair.

    I only hope that people can open their eyes and give the Nurses the support they deserve!

  • Darrel
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Calvin... You say, Then why doesn't the NL owner just offer Alberta wages? Simple... because they can get away with it. It's all about what you can get away with (today's business motto). Don't worry, these guys won't go bankrupt - they'll just lay you off to keep their profit margins in line with the big oil companies while demanding the other workers to pitch in. Don't get me wrong here. I'm all about pitching in to help out with non-related duties, but not at the sacrifice of why I am paid what I am paid. It's when pitching in becomes no longer appreciated, and becomes mandatory or else you get reprimanded, that I have a problem with. We've all seen the shift towards this pitching in with non-related duties over the years. It's all about saving the employer money. Will hospital management pitch in and do the same pitching in with non-related duties they are now requiring nurses (under threat) to do ? Here's another way to look at it... what kind of management is it if hospital management feels nurses are to perform non-related duties at a pay rate above what they could hire some temp worker (janitor) to perform ? Is this effective management in terms of cost effectiveness ? Does hospital management truly believe nurses have this spare time on their hands ? What if they really do have this spare time on their hands ? Has hospital management effectively managed the nursing shifts ? The answer to all of the above points towards poor management in each case.

  • DB
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    You get what you pay for. If you want to cheap out on health care then expect problems. More Cameron commissions anyone?

  • guy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    If the pay is not the issue, why don't they take the 20% and fight for the other facts.

    equal pay for equal work...when compared to cost of living, and also compared to other factors they have in big cities that we don't have. why isn't everyone in NL paid the same as everyone else in Canada? I wonder. why would any one want to work with those problems when they could be better off (not equal) working here?

  • Bea
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Oh dear Ruth! You do all the other people who work in hospitals such a disservice. Nurses DON'T do ALL the work! And they get to go home after an 8 or 12-hour shift. What about the technicians - x-ray, lab, plaster, admitting clerks, etc. - and please don't let us forget the Registered Practical Nurses, RPNs, who actually do most of the hands-on 'nursing'. And what about all the office staff who struggle to keep up with the never-ending paper work, trying to keep records up-to-date, so that patient's charts are also up-to-date; porters and volunteers also do many jobs in a hospital. A hospital is made up of so many departments, and for a hospital to work then everyone needs to do their fair share, and if this means straying outside the 'allotted' duties once in a while, then so be it.
    And, FYI, when a doctor is working 16+ hours a day he/she doesn't get much time to spend on the golf course. If a doctor is not available at any given time, then he/she is probably with another patient trying to make their life a little easier.
    I can honestly say that my husband never went into medicine for 'the money', and I'm sure there are many nurses who also didn't go into nursing for the money. Many doctors and nurses are kind, caring, people. Whenever the word 'strike' has been mentioned most doctor's shudder at the thought. When nurses went on strike one time, it was the doctors and others who kept the hospital going.
    Good nurses are extremely important in a hospital, but they are only part of a whole team, and it takes a whole team to make things work.

  • RED
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    V Browne from St. Johns, I believe you are confusing the meaning of the word professionalism and a person acting professional . You talk as though only Laywers, doctors et al can act professional in their work.

    One's profession (field of work) does not make a person professional in thier job. A clerk at Walmart can be very professional while dealing with customers where a laywer/accountant /nurse can act very unprofessional.

    I do help around the office and staff room. I cary boxes for clients and colleagues alike. I have washed the bathrooms, swept the floor, changed lights, polished desks and provided technical help when needed and much , much more.

    I am an accountant by day and an instructor in post secondary education by evening. Does that make me a professional?

    No, but the way I handle myself and my clients sure as heck do...

    Being professional is not a status criteria, it is a duty and shows pride in ones work.

    Oh, if ST. Johns is not the Real world I concede to living in fantasy land...

  • Sherri
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    Give me a break. Nurses in Newfoundland need to understand and to realize that the nursing shortage is not just affecting them, it is affecting hospitals across Canada, the US and the World. While I do agree that a raise is needed you cannot fix it all in one year. Take your 20% and be happy. I work for a hospital in Ontario and our new 3 year collective agreement allows for just over 10%. Sure our salaries are higher but it also costs more to live here. Ms. Forward has to stop comparing the salaries of nurses in Alberta to those in Newfoundland - there is no fair comparison when the cost of renting a two bedroom apartment in Edmonton can run you 1500.00 a month or more.
    The Health Care Boards in Newfoundland also need to start offering full-time employment, I attended Health Careers Interaction last week at the Delta and was suprised at the number of nurses who have worked in Newfoundland that are not in full-time permanent positions, a conversion to more full-time would also be a way to help with the shortage. Eastern Health was just on a recruiting drive across the country - to me this is crazy, no full-time jobs, no tuition support, etc, etc. You all need to be thankful that in a day when thousands of people are lucky to have a paycheck you are offered a 20% increase.

  • enough.already
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    First of all, I am not a nurse but have close friends who are and I work with many very qualified and hard working nurses on a daily basis. I have a great deal of respect for the work that they do, there is no amount of money that would entice me to do some of the tasks required of a nurse on a daily basis. That being said, I do not believe the nurses union should receive the 24% over 2 years. You dont have to be a rocket scientist to know that when those 2 years are up the union will again ask for an increase in the ballpark of 20-25% over another 2 years. Congratulations nurses, youve just received a 50%raise in 4 years and it is the people of the province that will suffer. I have no doubt that this may result in some nurses returning/staying in the province to work, however it will not solve the problems facing our health care system today. Unfortunately in recent months, just about anything wrong with the system has been blamed on the nursing shortage. There was a news article maybe a month ago concerning a lady whose cancer surgery was delayed due to a lack of icu beds available. Somehow this was due to the nursing shortage (15 icu beds and 18 icu patients...seems like a bed shortage issue to me). I would rather see tax payers money go towards more ct scanners and mri machines to find the cancer and help make radiation treatments more accurate; and we need nurses out of managerial positions. We have shortages and inequities in all health care fields, giving one group as large as the nurses union a large raise will do nothing to help health care as a whole.
    I am not saying I agree with dannys tactics, however the nurses union need to look at the big picture. Support from the people of the province as well as members of the nursing union itself is declining. Rather than 12% and 12%. Id like to see them get 12%, 12%, 0% and 0%. This provides the frontloaded 24% so many here have said is cruicial to solve the nursing shortage, but also saves the people of the province of facing this very situation of having to listen to Debbie in 2 years time.
    All health care workers who have direct patient care deserve a 40% raise based on the quality of care they provide, amount of effort they put into their job, the stress they face from having to make sure patients are discharged as soon as humanly possible to free up another bed for someone whos been waiting on a stretcher in emerg for 10hrs, and the harassment (verbal and physical) they deal with from patients and their family members on a daily basis.
    And to reply to some comments written in other posts..not all nurses work 12 hr shiftsmany have moved to 8-4 jobs M-F ( management, research, cath lab, day surgery, pre-admission clinic, etc), I have heard nurses be called in for overtime on the precious day offand heard them say no without penalty, j have seen nurses carryon a conversation about all things non-work related after a patient has gotten their attention for assistance, and Ive seen nurses shop online or check email/facebook while not on break. (maybe this is due to the free time they have now that they are not moving or cleaning equipment/beds, portering patients, or emptying garbages). I know this is not catch-all, however nurses need to get off their high-horse and reconsider some of the comments made by nurses/Debbie while remembering what it means to be a professional with the main priority being the patient. Focus on patient care, if you want alberta money go to alberta.

  • Longshanks
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    The public is sick of hearing that 20% is not enough. I agree that there needs to be more full time jobs for nurses but as far as I can tell they don't want them. They want to get more money by having less deducted from their cheque because they are casual and they want the freedom to not answer the phone if they don't want to work. The nurses need to quit whining and the Government needs to make nursing in Newfoundland more appealings (Full time positions, paid transfers, high light the benifits of living in NL.)

  • jen
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    I agree the nurses should take what they are given , my job title doesn't say I have to empty garbage or clean but I do it Just to help out ! I think Danny Williams is doing an excellent job ! He can only give the Nurses what the province can afford to give . Do you want this province to end up like United States ? I AM A MEMBER Of Nape . I think 20% is excellent ! Take it while you can ! soon everyone will end up on strike and get nothing in the end ! Strike Pay is what you will get and the lost wages and in the end the result will be you will end up with less !

  • Barry
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    Go do something usefull, like iron me A shirt or wash the dishes. Your foolishness is starting to get old.

  • ???
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    Fact...Newfoundland is short 1017 nurses.
    Fact ...Newfoundland nurses are the lowest paid in Canada.
    Fact...the Newfoundland government is using public money to bully nurses.
    Fact...the Newfoundland MHAs are the second highest paid government members in Canada plus they get generous allowances
    Fact...had we not endured years of wage freezes and had our pay equity taken from us we would be on par with the Atlantic provinces..
    Fact...During the last election there was
    Not a shortage of politicians
    I am a nurse. some days when my back is aching and I haven't had a break I wonder why. But I feel like I make a difference to my patients and their families and so I continue to do this. I will still leave my child to come to work on Christmas Day. I will continue to come to work on my days off and in blizzards so bad that the snowplows are taken off the road for their safety.
    Many of the comments that are written here break my heart. But I will continue to do my best even when I am exhausted for each of you if you become sick. Everyone deserves to be cared for when they are sick no matter how ignorant or cynical they are when they are healthy.

  • Ed
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    Why are there so many people bashing the nurses here. Areyou paid for your insipid comments? Are you management exploiters? Ok, fine. But if you are working slobs who resent those who are members of unions then you need to do something about that. Right? Our nurses deserve our respect. I hope you never have to learn this lesson the hard way.

  • Michelle
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    Equal pay for equal work is more than fair when you consider logistics coordinators at Technip (oil) get paid $1500/day (yes... a day) here in St. John's. I know this because that is where a family member works and what that person gets paid. If we were to consider cost of living, how could that rate of pay be justifiable here in Newfoundland ? It doesn't. But many other professions here in Newfoundland are the same way. Why should there be a double standard for nurses ? Why would a nurse work here in this province at a lower rate of pay when they could move to another province where the rate of pay is higher ? Although the cost of living may be higher resulting in similar lifestyles while working, it is when they retire, they liquidate their assets in that distant province and move back here. This results in selling a much higher priced property which gives them a large advantage if they move back to retire. Higher wages from living away results in larger pension plans too, for when they come back and retire on them. So where's the incentive to stay and work here ? This is what I did, although I'm not a nurse, it still applied. Equal pay for equal work would allow nurses to end up with the same net financial advantage while staying in Newfoundland as opposed to moving away to accumulate their assets there. We use Canadian dollars here in Newfoundland too. To further my point, how far will this cost of living argument go ? Will we discriminate nurses pay based on whether you live in downtown St. John's as opposed to in the Upper Gullies ? Maybe I shouldn't even have mentioned this for fear more '50s style hospital management will be hired to pursue this idea. But if you want pay to be commensurated with cost of living, you must realize that you can buy a house on a 1 acre lot on a credit card in some areas within this province of Newfoundland, and still drive to work. But in other areas of this province the price of homes is still sky-rocketting while in the rest of Canada it is plummetting (Sept real estate prices dropped 13% this year over last year in T.O.). So whose cost of living do you use ? A townie's ? Or a baymen's ? How far will this go ? If I had my time back I'd have done the exact same thing. Move the to the big Canadian cities, get paid artifically-inflated wages and pay for the artificially high priced homes, and when all is said and done, move back to Newfoundland and enjoy the windfall. Why would I or the nurses stay here to work ? I don't believe this is something you can play games with. Does the province really want to take this chance ? Treat the nurses fairly, especially in light of the fact it is an extremely busy and stressful workplace where mistakes do not just cost money. If your loved one's life was in question and you went to the desk looking for a nurse, while in the hospital, and you couldn't find one because they were doing a non-related task elsewhere, how would you feel ? Would you take it out on the nurse ? Think before you speak, many here are not. Oh, and if you're one of those who advocates cleaning toilets and other things as part of this politically correct, go-team-go approach of every helps out at your office place, maybe you should ask yourself if you're one step closer to the door and start writing your resume. Nurses simply do not have this time on their hands.

  • karin
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    First of all, to all of you who support nurses, thank you.
    Second, to CA from NL; if you carry out duties that are not part of your job description as an accountant, well bully for you! I don't think that someone's life may be in danger while you're cleaning the toilet or vacuuming!!
    And to set the record straight, i do perform non-nursing duties, if not doing so will impact negatively on my patients. I will clean up a mess on the bathroom floor,in a four bed room, if house-keeping is not immediately available. For me not to do so could result in another patient using that washroom sustaining an injury. How would you feel if you were that patient, and you slipped and broke your leg? That's a risk I'm not willing to take for my patients; not even someone as ignorant as you. We treat all patients alike.
    As for your comment, and I quote, Start caring for your patients.....
    end quote, I started caring for my patients in my first year of nursing school,which was 1981. And I haven't stopped.
    I hope to God, for your sake, you never get sick and require the services of the nurses that you insulted today.Not that you wouldn't receive the same care as anyone else; you would.
    But, God forbid you should get sick, or know someone who does; I'll wager the 20% raise offer that you'll be eating your words!! Bon appetite!!

  • HARRY
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    HOW DO YOU KNOW ITS GOING TO BE COLDER IN JANURARY ......NURSES KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

  • Sherri
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    To Carol Doran and L - I hear you regarding the issues - the problem is that is not what is being put forth by the media or by your fearless leader Ms. Forward. All that is being talked about is the fact that 20% over 4 years is not acceptable. You are being represented poorly by the person who is representing you to the public. I do agree, more money is not going to solve the problem and that alot more needs to happen - but I will say again what I have already stated you have to be willing to go to the table - if you are out protesting, and your leader is stating that 20% is not enough that is the impression that John Q Public gets.

  • V
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    Sherri from ON: Nurses in NL understand only too well that the nursing shortage is global--we keep losing our very well-educated nursing grads to other places that are more willing to face that fact and attempt to secure their own futures in an environment where demand outweighs supply. Many of the issues you speak to are the very ones that are making NL nurses stand firm in their position. It seems that nurses can repeat as often as they please that this is not all about money but it keeps falling on deaf ears. For example, nurses are also advocating for increased support staffing levels but people choose to ignore that fact in their rants against nurses. Unfortunately for everyone, time will prove that the nurses are right. Fortunately for the NL public, nurses are willing to sacrifice their own financial stability (via a possible strike) to fight for healthcare in our province, because the powers that be refuse to do so.

  • Thought so
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Jacee from NL writes: Wait a minute. They drew up placards. That's not a 'nursing duty'!!!! For shame! \\ No, it is not a nursing duty . However it IS UNION ACTIVITY of which they ARE members, and PARTICIPATE in...

  • md
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    I am one of the nurses who attended the rally yesterday. As we were standing there we began to talk about the strike we had in 1999. Then I realized that of all the nurses there, only one would still be there 10 years from now. I will retire in 8 years , many of the nurses there will retire before me. I am asking everyone who reads these comments to take a good look at the pictures of the nurses at the rally. Most of them are near retirement. New graduates are not staying here. In 1999 when we warned of the impending shortage, Chuck Furey stood on the steps of Confederation Building and told us to pack our bags if we didn't like it here. Well many did and they did not come back. At some point everyone one of us will need the healthcare system. If you have a serious illness in 10 years, who will be there to care for you? How far will you have to travel for surgery? We are already short 1017 nurses, 1000 more will retire over the next 8 years. Even if we were able to keep every nurse who graduates in the next 8 years, the shortage will worsen. Twenty years ago I could work whatever overtime that was demanded of me. I can't do it anymore. I am counting the days until I retire. Please do not believe Government's smoke screen. This nursing shortage is causing a severe crisis in healthcare. Something has to be done.

  • Sherri
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    I will say it again, take your 20%, and go to the bargaining table about the rest of the issues. This is the only way to get what you want. All those out there who think a strike is the answer are dead wrong - strike pay pretty much equals NO PAY - so even at the end if you get more then 20% you will be recovering from your lost wages for years. I agree nurses deserve better but sit down and bargain - Ms. Forward is not doing any one of you any service at all by not letting that happen.

  • Bea
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    My 'Bea in the Bonnet' is because of silly comments, like:

    To quote...

    Nurses do all the work in any hospital .

    Nurses do NOT do all the work in any hospital.

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Thought so from NL:
    It's called other related duties. I have many of them in my job that I don't agree with either. The bottom line is, the nurses and their union are looking to cash in. They're no more entitled than the rest of us.

  • Carol
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    It's not just about 20%. It's about being bullied into a 4 yr contract. It's about nurse:patient ratios that are unsafe. It's about not graduating enough nurses and not giving them incentive to stay. It's about starting now to deal with nurses leaving and 25% who will be eligible to retire by 2015. We don't expect to solve it all in one contract, but government has told our negotiating team that if we don't accept a 4 year contract, then there is nothing more to discuss. Pattern bargaining is a ridiculous concept. It's a lazy way out for government - let's give them all the same and be done with it. Nurses won't stand for it and the public shouldn't either. The nurses are focused on improving the quality of patient care in this province. This year we want a 2 year contract, maybe down the road when improvements are seen, a 4 year contract would be OK. That's what bargaining is all about.

  • rick
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    As seen, Nursing shortages appear to be a trans-Canadian, US/UK reality. The NLNU armband and headlines, we are told, are all about the Shortage not Money. Then one assumes that Nurse Recruiters need to go back to the drawing board because for all their good work, over all those years, they have regrettably failed in the recruiting task. There are countries trained on the UK Nursing standards/protocols where Nurses are lucky to be paid $100-$200/month; we have Doctors from some of those countries and those left behind are lucky to be making $500/month. I suggest there are many waiting to be employed throughout NL. Of course wages reflect the cost of living, even far away from Alberta. Kick start recruiting once more, and this time drive beyond the Anglo Saxon borders. Good Luck with your challenge.

  • L
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    Being a nurse that has done my time working out of province, I can tell you...we're not all as greedy as you seem to think we are. I worked in a northern setting...where I was making over $6/hr more than I do here. I also got paid a northern allowance of $11,000/yr. Plus, I received a 4-digit sign on bonus...then another 4-digit bonus every 3 months, after committing 3 years of my life to the job. I had a pretty comfortable lifestyle. I left it all to return to NL to raise my family. It was more important for us to be home with family, and for our children to grow up in our hometown. So...as many of you seem to think...we all aren't out for the mighty dollar. If you took a minute to actually listen to the issues, you might realize that.

  • M
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    Amazing.....simply amazing. Funny how some people are right quick to bash RNs, but seem to have a GREAT deal of difficulty in sticking to what THIS story is actually ABOUT. RNs gave up their half- hour ( we do NOT get a FULL ONE HOUR lunch break ) to try and bring to the public's attention about a situation that had occurred in Botwood - a HOUSEKEEPING manager ordered an RN to call back housekeeping staff. In OTHER words, do HIS job, and maybe have to leave her patients unattended while she did HIS job, and spend God-knows HOW long trying to GET someone. SHE only wanted to do HER job, and take CARE of her patients, and NOT take time AWAY from them to do HIS job. And WHAT happens? SHE got disciplined for not doing HIS job!! Just WHAT, pray tell, is that HOUSEKEEPING supervisor's JOB?? How do i apply for a job like HIS?? Get OTHER people to neglect THEIR primary job and do YOURS, instead.
    IF you think there's no RN shortage, then you go right ahead and TELL people who are waiting for an ICU bed, and can't GET one because there are not enough ICU RNs there, that there is NO shortage. TELL people who've had their surgeries cancelled or delayed, because there are not enough OR RNs, that there is NO shortage. TELL people who have been sent home from hospital, who need a daily visit from an RN, but can't get that daily visit because there are not enough RNs to do what must be done, that there is NO shortage. TELL people who wait in an Emergency Dept, on a stretcher, in a hallway,sometimes for DAYS, just lying there, WAITING for a unit to open up. and knowing it may be a while,because they need RNs, and there are none, that there IS no Nursing shortage.
    And FINALLY, tell the poor patients in Botwood, who needed their RN to do HER job, and take care of them, that THEY will have to wait to be taken care of, because their RN had to do the HOUSEKEEPING MANAGER's job!!

  • Doug
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    Nurses, this is a wake up call, you are losing public support! Get rid of that irresponsible Debbie Forward. People are sick of seeing her face on the T.V. Stop your money grubbing ways. You have been offered a good deal! Take it, take it!!

  • V
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    RED: I am a professional living in the real world and I don't empty garbage cans or disinfect anyone's bathroom but my own. And you can be assured by that statement that I am NOT a nurse, given the fact that they are forced to do so.

    I don't know what profession you belong to, but I am not hesitant to bet that most professionals don't willingly take on any of those duties either. When was the last time you saw a doctor or lawyer or teacher or engineer doing those things in the workplace. Wherever you live, I can assure you, it ain't the real world.

  • Darrin
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    If you want to compare to Alberta and other areas - then go there and work!! A lot of us could go elsewhere and make signifiacntly more money, but also encounter significantly more trouble and issues as well. However, many of us choose to live here because of family, a way of life and just being a newfie. I got my 20% increase recently and I am certainly not complaining. Part of the problem as I see it is that you nurses along with many others cannot live on your so-called poor salaries because you are trying to live the lives of kings and queens - trips everything down south, large SUV's and trucks, big homes and other luxuary types of living. Stay modest and be happy. 20% across the board is fair enough - otherwise - leave!!!

  • V
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Actually, RED, I did not confuse the two, but thanks for the pseudo-English/life lesson.

    I'm sure your employer appreciates paying you accountant wages to polish desks. But hey, if you've got the time!

  • CA
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    I am an accountant. I work at a small firm and my job description is as follows: Prepare and file returns, analyze financial data and prepare financial statements, conduct audits, ect. However, there are other things I also do while at work, which include: take out the garbage, dust around the office, and sometimes I even clean the bathroom. Oh and we can't forget vacuuming occasionally. Along with those janitorial duties, sometimes I also do administrative work such as filing client data, ordering office supplies, or answering the phone and taking a message for a colleague. Also, I do computer support work sometimes, when things go awry.

    Despite all of the work I do that is not part of my job description, you don't see me complaining! Or any other people who have a job for that matter, because let's face it, NOBODY does only the work that is written in their job description. It's just a fact of life and these nurses need to get over it! Stop being foolish, take the 20% and get back to work. Start caring for your patients, the main part of your beloved job description that have seemingly forgotten about!

  • Peter
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    People have to realize that nurses need help. No matter where you are in Canada you should support nurses getting higher salaries wherever they are because it only sets a new standard for your province to go by. I don't understand why a nurse or person from another province would not support the nurses here?? The only way you'll solve the nursing shortage is to support new grads, offer higher pay to get them to stay here, etc.

    Secondly, for people complaining that nurses are paid enough I'd have to disagree. There are so many other professions that have no more schooling than an RN does, and they are way overpaid for what they do. There are clerical people in the hospital almost making the same salary as nurses who are starting out, Pharmacists make a fortune by comparison and nurses are out there on the front-lines, identifying serious problems before a doctor or specialist can get to see them. They really are a misunderstood profession. If doctors needed a pay raise to keep them here in the province and to attract some more staff then doesn't it make sense that nurses should be under the same sort of pressure doctors are? I'd say even more in some cases, I really feel for the doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals. There are so many over-paid government people who get to go home at 4:30, have their 30 minute coffee breaks, 1 hour lunches, family days, etc. They are spoiled, self righteous, and downright mean in how they treat other people of their same province it's terrible.
    Finally, if people in any other profession had someone fighting for higher salary on their behalf, they'd want to get as much as they can get too. Especially given the working conditions that some nursing areas have. Being a Cook/Chef here in town, no-one is looking out for me. I'm in one of the most stress-full, lowest paying. long-hours jobs out there and there is no union looking out for me. I wish I did because I'd be doing just what the nurses are doing, asking for a fair share. Do I come down on them....no because I understand that they need HELP, not money, and this is what people just aren't getting.
    Go nurses! I just might need you to help me someday when something happens. I just hope the patient/nurse ratio won't be 15/1 by that time. Cheers/peace all.

  • Jen
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    WOW KRISTA ! we already heard what you had to say and I THINK YOU WRONG ! I think the nurses should take what they are given ! YOU MUST BE A NURSE YOURSELF ! I will tell you this much I AM A NAPE WORKER ! I think we are going way overboard here ! Take the 20% we are lucky to get that ! I have read all comments , you say it's not about the money But IT IS ! Take the 20% and think yourself lucky to get that !

  • Krista
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Wow!! To those of you who are posting negative comments here, shame on you!! You so obviously have NO clue as to what is actually going on in our healthcare system!! I guess ignorance really is bliss! I hope that the day never comes when you are sick and need to be cared for by one of these nurses you are bashing!!! It sickens me to think that people think this fight is all about money. That is so far from the truth! The nurses in this province need and deserve our support and respect right now, they are, after all the backbone of our healthcare. Let every nurse walk out for even just a few hours and see how long the system holds up without them. I for one am 100% behind them and hope they win this fight and get everything they so rightly deserve! God bless the nurses!!!

  • T
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Bill is absolutly right its called Past Practice nurses be careful of refusing work Unions don't always make you aware of the concequences. Take the 20% its a great deal!! Work on the more important things like pension, full time status and benefits.

    Good Luck Nurses!!!!

  • Jacee
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    Wait a minute. They drew up placards. That's not a 'nursing duty'!!!! For shame!

  • Bea
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    I've been on the receiving end of REALLY BAD NURSING, i.e. forgetting all about an IV drip, which needed changing; trying to find the nurse who was supposed to be taking care of me after back surgery, only to find her hiding in a closet with another person!
    But that's not the point.
    In my book, whenever a job needs doing, then whoever is available should do it.
    My husband is a medical doctor, a consultant surgeon, but is certainly more than willing to do jobs outside his scope of expertise, e.g. I have seen him cut a patient's toenails, wash their feet, filing, answering the phone when his secretary was run off her feet, shredding paper, making coffee, helping patients undress and dress, tying shoelaces, escort frail or unsteady patients from the waiting room to the examining room. Why, you may ask. Well, someone had to do those things, and the person who generally did them was busy doing something else.
    He doesn't get to go home and forget about everything and everyone until the next time he goes to work. His physical working hours are, on average, around 16 hours per day. But he has to be available 24 hours per day.
    Just get on with doing whatever is necessary for the well-being and comfort of the patient.

  • Thought so
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    RED from NL -- I have NO union affiliate. I used to. I now work for myself...I apply what my union has shown me as appropriate in daily discourse with my employees.. These employees are my ASSETS and with out my business would not be profitable.. The sad part is that people like you are associated with a why the hell should they be doing better than me attitude. Your assumption is that the housekeeping and filing etc. duties are all done by employees as pitching in to lighten the load....I don't know where you work , but I can tell you categorically that in the 15 or so years that that I have provided cleaning services for my clients these things are NOT done by employees. In fact regularly, garbage receptacles are overflowing and bathrooms are NOT cleaned....the only thing that I have not done is file documents and type letters. If your employees are doing this type of work they are NOT doing THEIR job, they are doing someone else's, and as such their production is stymied. Being helpful is not in the equation except in a group or family setting. All that is being done is diverting energies that could be used in the job you were hired to do. If the time is there to do others' work then you should take a cut in pay to reflect the level of intelligence applied to effect the work.
    What makes me different? Well, I guess the fact that I employ myself separates me from the rest. The admonition that 20% is more than most see probably holds some credence, however having wages frozen and rolled back over the past 15 or so years is something than NONE of us has seen -- not even you.

  • a professional
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    I am a PROFESSIONAL. I am a nurse. I went to University for 4 years plus 1 of general studies to obtain the title of professional...
    Nursing is a self-regulated profession because of the specialized body of knowledge that we must use every day in our work life.. If we were not at the bedside's who would be responsible for patient's lives?
    I don't really care if Ontario, quebec or tim-buck-too is short nurses..the fact is that we - newfoundlanders- do not have enough nurses to sustain a viable health care system. We need more nurses.
    Nurses in Newfoundland need help..we are stressed to the max and are burned out...we are tired of dreading a day off because we know our phone will be ringing at 0600 and we will be demanded to spend another day away from our family and children.
    I do not remember the last time I was able to have a supper break or afternoon break at work because there is no time.
    Why should I empty garabge can's? Is a doctor expected to do that? Is a janitor expected to take a patient's pulse or change their dressing?

  • Sarah
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Go to www.nursingshortage.ca and read the facts before you bash the nurses...

    Some people aren't looking at the reason nurses are asking for more money.

    They just see
    20 %/4yrs
    20 %/4yrs
    20 %/4yrs
    20 %/4yrs.

    If nurses stood by and accepted the 20% increase and went back to bargain the other issues with positions and what not, they would also be ignoring them! The 24% increase the nurses want IS part of the solution to the problems. If they took the 20% over 4 years, they would still be the lowest paid nurses in Canada in 4 years. Nurses go other places for more money, so a strategy for recruitment and retainment of nurses is to give them more money...

    The nursing profession in NL needs more nurses but the government isn't offering anything close to competitive compared to even the rest of Atlantic Canada.

    www.nursingshortage.ca

  • Doug
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    To C from NL...my mother was also a nurse and told me the real truth about the job of the nurse so spare me the drama. If a patient needs a nurse to keep a finger on a aorta, that is what she is required to do and god love her/him for doing so. That is the nature of the job. The nurse that is leaving the post to bring out the garbage or unclogging the toilet should be fired or reprimanded. You can say that it is not about the money...come on!! The Texan organizer for the job fair that went on some time ago stated that the most common question was...how much do you pay? Nurses are worked to the bone and endure stressful situations but they aren't the only ones. Try being a police officer staring down the barrel of a gun or knife. How about the coast guard officer risking life and limb to save a fisherman washed overboard. We all should be paid a lot more for what we do but we know that is not possible, but we know a fair deal when we see one. Take the deal and put this behind you!

  • Natalie
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    To those of you who are posting that they have other duties built into their jobs, I have this to say to you: while you're disinfecting that bathroom, is a person dying in the next room when you should be there to help them? While you're filing you're papers, is there a woman in the bed across the hall in agony because she needs her pain medication but you're to busy processing the order for it to give it to her? While you're calling staffing from other departments because something is broke an needs to be fixed, is there an old man who needs someone to talk to or take a walk with? While you're emptying the trash cans is there a family member standing in the hallway sobbing because they just found out their child has terminal cancer? This is a daily occurence for nurses....people falling apart around them and they have to do not only the work they were trained to do, the work they WANT to do, but the work that belongs to support staff. VERY IMPORTANT support staff. This isn't just about nurses, and I think they are making that VERY CLEAR. Changes need to be made in the Newfoundland hospitals. Nurses need to be able to get back to what they're there for: patient care.

  • Calvin
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    @Thought so from nl writes: 'Ask around garages and electrical shops, the construction sites and heavy equipment and welding places about not being able to get people to work there. Your answer will be Jesu*, b'y everybody is gone. They're all in Fort Mac, or up in Alberta at the tar sans....I s'pose the money is better there!'

    Then why doesn't the NL owner just offer Alberta wages? Simple... because they can't afford it. It's either have unfilled jobs and do most of the work with what they got or pay Alberta wages and go bankrupt and put everyone out of work... the same situation our government is in... exactly the same. So what's the answer... what does the owner/government do?

  • C
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Doug: You've misread my comment and have seconded the point I have already made - lol. I said a nurse keeping their finger on someone's aorta is their job, as opposed to taking out the garbage. I hope you and others like you take the time to read all the facts and form educated opinions about the importance of nursing in our society rather than rushing to judgement, misquoting others and making incorrect comments. This is the hurdle this debate must overcome. I feel if people took the time to understand the relevant facts and try not to interject their own personal peeves about pay rates they would see that the issue is much larger than themselves.

  • Sherri
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    Note to Cal, I am actually not a nurse - I am a recruiter for an Ontario hospital...the pay is not the biggest issue which is the thing I learned last week. The fact of the matter is there are no full time jobs and I spoke to a large number of nurses who we upset because in order to move back to Newfoundland they would have to take temporary positions. And yes, I have heard of equal pay for equal work however salaries in each province for every kind of position nursing or not are different - cost of living plays a factor no matter if you agree or not. While I do agree it is not the fault of nurses in NL that this differs they CANNOT and SHOULD not expect to be paid at the same rate as a nurse in Alberta, BC, Ontario you have to compare apples to apples and Ms Forward is just not.

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Sherri - nicely put. I think you have your head on straight. While some bonuses to get/keep people are almost inevitable, a 20% raise is more than most ever expect!

    And Cal, you need to wake up! It's also not our fault down here that we don't have the same amount of money as other places and thus pay HAS to be reflected in that. We may have a short term current account surplus, but we are saddled with huge debts that need to be repaid before we start handing out all the money to gov't unions. And it's the primary workers, such as mill workers, loggers, miners, farmers and fishermen who create the wealth, that makes for more jobs to support that industry, that allows taxes to be collected, that allows any gov't worker to be paid. Shouldn't they be the first to get the benefit of our surplus by paving roads, lowering taxes, etc? After all they are the ones making the economy run!!

  • Sarah
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Wow. That's all I can say about these ignorant negative comments about nurses in NL. It seems these people have no idea what nurses really do in the run of a work day. There are really sick people in the hospitals and the nurses are the front liners who directly care for them and use their assessment skills to prevent them from getting sicker. All of the non-nursing duties spoken of here have people who are hired for those specific duties. A nurse who is hired to keep their patients alive and help them recover from illness or surgery shouldn't be taken away from that for doing things they aren't supposed to be doing anyway. I find it mind boggling that some people just don't get it! I agree that 20% raise is a good deal when seen from the eyes of people outside of the nursing profession in NL, but nurses in NL are THE lowest paid in Canada... which means even if there were full time permanent positions available (which there are and they've been posted for weeks now) no one would want them because there are better jobs for nurses elsewhere in Canada. The cost of living here in NL is climbing rapidly. A bungalow sells for an average of $200,000 now... not that far off from the same house in AB (my sister lives there). I agree the nursing shortage is world-wide spread, but the situation here in NL is CRITICAL. We are in a crisis and people need to support their nurses if they want decent health care in the future when they get sick.

  • kma
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    I hope none of you nurse bashers require our expertise ! However, I venture to guess none of you have or you would have a different appreciation for what nurses endure. Maybe when it is you I have to take care of, I'll be too busy to deal with your chest pain or clean up your vomit because I am trying to call in someone from dietary or housekeeping ! I've noticed the times on the posts above and see that they are all made during working hours. I guess I know what you are being paid to do - read the Telegram on-line ! Need I say more ! I wish nurses had the luxury of reading the paper on line during working hours ! Shame on you people.

  • C
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Doug: you are so off base. Public support for nurses is GROWING. My mother was an ER nurse at the Health Sciences Complex/Grace/St. Claire's for 35 years, and I nor any family member have ever seen anyone so overworked and burned out in our entire lives. She never had time to eat lunch or even get off her feet - LITERALLY. Being distracted to take out the garbage is not an option if another person's life hangs in the balance. It may be in an office environment of some publicly unimportant profit-making business, but not when you have to keep your finger on someone's aorta to keep them from bleeding to death. Can you imagine a trauma patient entering Emergency and the doctors asking for a nurse are told that none is available because one is taking out the garbage, a second is unclogging the toilet, and a third is at the front desk admitting the 30+ people lined up to get band-aids put on their fingers (wasting precious time and money - which is so typical) ? Educate yourself. I've seen and experienced it firsthand how overworked they've always been. It is so unfair and very sad, and I can't believe hospital management is still just as bad. Growing up with a mother as an ER nurse made me realize just how hard it is for nurses - I would liken it to slavery. I just can't describe it. Please, please, please don't make stupid comments unless you REALLY know what it's like.

  • Ruth
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Bea-do you have a bonnet? Of course many people run a hospital. You have quite a gift for stating the obvious. But the doctors do very little except look at charts and push pills. The nurses do all the hard and dirty work. Of course, since you have a vested interest in the matter you might not be able to appreciate this inconvenient fact.

  • Thought so
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Mike from NL -- Think of it this way... If you are an electrician you occasionally have to drive nails or cut partitions to run wire. You occasionally ask the carpenter to help you IF you need. The carpenter will occasionally run a wire to fix a lighting problem where he is working. What would be the sense of having a building and electrical code if everybody crossed trades with out the papers to prove capability. The remark about heading out west if you don't like it here is a bit naive; Ask around garages and electrical shops, the construction sites and heavy equipment and welding places about not being able to get people to work there. Your answer will be Jesu*, b'y everybody is gone. They're all in Fort Mac, or up in Alberta at the tar sans....I s'pose the money is better there!

  • Krista
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Wow!! To those of you who are posting negative comments here, shame on you!! You so obviously have NO clue as to what is actually going on in our healthcare system!! I guess ignorance really is bliss! I hope that the day never comes when you are sick and need to be cared for by one of these nurses you are bashing!!! It sickens me to think that people think this fight is all about money. That is so far from the truth! The nurses in this province need and deserve our support and respect right now, they are, after all the backbone of our healthcare. Let every nurse walk out for even just a few hours and see how long the system holds up without them. I for one am 100% behind them and hope they win this fight and get everything they so rightly deserve! God bless the nurses!!!

  • Doug
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    By the way Thought so from NL. You sound like one of those money grubbing nurses that are trying to convince the public that they care about patients and not the money, give me a break!! why don't you catch a plane out west and see that the grass is not always greener on the other side. There is a lot of money to be made there. Make that big money and we will see you when you get back after retirement.

  • Bill
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    I hope the Union has advised it's members that refusing to perform their duties will result in discipline. Never mind all the hype about whether some duties are nursing or not. The fact is that nurses have been doing those things for a long time and they are within the realm of a nurses job. If any employee decided to tell her/his supervisor that she/he would no longer perform a duty that they had been performing for years, that employee would be disciplined. What makes nurses different?? A nurse's job description is not restricted to what the NNU is calling nursing duties. The place to change that is at the bargaining table, which is where the NNU should be

  • Gordon
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Cat from Newfoundland writes, nurses should be allowed to accept or reject any offer that is made to them, and that is their right (implying that the public should respect the nurses decisions). No disagreement here. She then goes on to note that this is a negotiation between the nurses and the Government (again implying the public should mind its own business when it comes to commenting on the contract negotiations). This is where I have a problem. The nurses were first to go public with their frustrations over the negotiations. The problem for the nurses is that most of the public dont support them on their 24%/2yr demand and applaud the Governments 20%/4yrs. The nurses tried to garner public support to get what they wanted, and it backfired. Boo Hoo. The nurses should realize the money offer is good. Start negotiating other terms like full time positions, etc. Otherwise, I dont think the nurses will look so energetic in January when they are supposedly going to be on the picket line.

  • MA
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    I stopped reading the ignorant and uneducated comments after the post by the accountant. While you are doing the janitorial work at your small firm, what exactly are you being kept from? I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing piles of paper or maybe a client who is most likely in good health. While I as a Registered Nurse is performing some sort of non-nursing duty, I am being kept from my patient! A pateint who is probably trying to get to the bathroom, and if I don't get to the patient quickly the pateint will probably fall on the floor. Would you like to learn that your family member fell on the floor, or was lying in their own urine or feces, or was having chest having chest pain and a nurse didn't respond right away because I was on the phone trying to fill a housekeeping shift? I don't think so!
    I have a full time position and many of the nurses who work with me do as well but that doesn't stop them from leaving this province for better working conditions. The only way new nurses will consider staying here or attracting nurses to come here is with a competitive contract and better working conditions.

  • W
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    I think you all need to take a freaking tranquilizer...and call the doctor in the morning...and maybe he can put you all to work!

  • TMW
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    just a comment - 95% of the nurses who were at the rally yesterday were on their DAY OFF - so, the signs were made on their own time!! Go Nurses go!!!

  • Calvin
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    @Sherri from ON (originally from NL): I did professional recruitment as well. The first thing I learn't was that salaries was not the biggest issue. Salaries will always be higher somewhere else, so you need to fix the non-monetary issues to attract these people. Full time positions, tuition reduction, relocation allowance, pension and seniority transfer and manditory service are all issues to address the shortage, but it will never completely fix it. Multiple times I had to find a job for a spouce to get a specialized professional. This is perhaps a huge issue in NL as well. With a global shortage, those 1000 positions will never be filled, but you can fill a lot of them simply by addressing the non-monetary issues. I know specifically that seniority transfer is being held up by the union because members do not want a incoming nurse to be higher on the seniority list and take their position. They want more nurses to improve workign conditions, but only as long as they start at the bottom of the list. This fix comes from both sides here and the nurses certianly have to help themselves. Taking 24%-28% salary increase only deminishes the resources to put toward additional areas of recruitment.
    @C from NL: I beg to differ. During the past couple of strikes I always supported the nurses, but not this time. A lot of others I have spoken with feel the same. I am all for better health care and workplace improvments, but the nurses damands address neither. This pay increase will only give the current nurses more money, they will still be overworked with no vacation... because higher salaries do NOT mean filled positions. I know this first hand!

  • Thought so
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Mike -- take out the garbage! Disinfect the bathroom, and file that pile of patient records. When you've got that done, you can go back to your regular work -- you know - the work you were hired to do. Now, on the other hand, there are several vacancies in the field of those other things you were doing -- that is IF you would prefer that??!!

  • kimber
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Go Nurses Go! It's about time someone had the guts to stand up for healthcare in this province. Ignore the ignorant comments...you have support from the people whose lives you have touched. Keep up the fight!

  • Dic
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    all the focus is on the 20% pay raise here. people don't see the other issues. i'd say it is jealousy because they aren't getting 20% too.

  • Castaway
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Ive read so many comments here in which the commentators have lost sight of the issue and start attacking each other. What a shame; however, its not the first time Ive been exposed to this type of repartee among readers of the Telly. We should all keep in mind that in a civilized society, strike in any collective work group, is a final and a desperate action of signaling that there is something inherently very wrong in the system.

    The issues are not only monetary here, although, it does cost a lot more to live in Newfoundland just because of the isolation factor and the cost of transportation of- say fresh fruits and vegetables from the mainland, alone.

    There are other matters such as job description and duties which define a nurse or a bus driver or a teacher and professor. As professionals, each group goes beyond their call of their duty and performs more than what their collective agreement has outlined in black on white. Unfortunately, as long as individual members of the professional groups give, alls fine and noone complains until the GIVING becomes a GIVEN, expected of them all the time . The minute their burden becomes overwhelming and challenges their main duties, jeopardizing the welfare of the group for whom they are responsible - i.e: patients, students, etc, society starts judging them, pointing fingers, ridiculing and putting them down.

    This is what is happening on this comment forum.

    Nurses are entitled to perform their duties which is taking care of patients to the best of their abilities without having been expected to do other, unrelated duties. In a province where health care is currently in shambles and peoples collective faith is diminishing every day, I fail to understand how some commentators here can even think of attacking or mocking one of the most important group of this society, Nurses. Who knows when you will need the care of a nurse? And when you do, would you rather have one who is busy performing other duties, or one who can devote a hundred percent of his or her care to you?

    To play on Hemingway's words: Mock not that the bells are tolling- for one day, they may be tolling for you.

  • craig
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Re-start the nursing school programs and start churning out RNs again (they are just as good as the BNs). This BN bull**** has to stop. It seemed like when nurses were trained in the hospital's RN programs there was always more than enough of them and they didn't have these overwhelming salary increases every time you turn around - just like the friggin teachers.

  • Nancy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    I am unclear as to why nurses are involved with the housekeeping staff. Where is housekeeping management? Why are nurses calling in housekeepers or performing housekeeping duties? Do RN's have to clean rooms and mop floors? Aren't the housekeeping staff represented by a union as well? I am a nurse and I worked at the HSC for a short time before I moved to Texas in 1991....the more I read the more I am certain I made the right decision. In regards to the comment about full-time positions....if there is a shortage why won't the government offer nurses full-time employment? This was a major problem when I graduated in '91 and it is disappointing to see that it still exists. Many of my friends are nurses who remained in Nfld and I hear stories about their work environment and the status of health care at home. The public needs to listen to what the nurses are saying...it is not all about money.....who better to advocate for the public than the nurses? I caution the public to examine the issues further. Many people have passed comment on the nurses based on what they saw or experienced during a hospital stay. Although these comments are valid the observations of a patient or a family member are limited in their scope. The public needs to recognize the expertise of nurses and trust that nurses are acting in the best interest of those they serve.

  • R
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    The message here is that there was a housekeeping manager who is paid to manage his/her staff. They should be calling in their own staff & let the nurses take care of their patients. The nurse wasn't refusing to call in another nurse, she refused to call in housekeeping.

  • Thought so
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Doug from St. Johns, NL -- You missed the mark old man.... I have no association what so ever. I provide my own employment.....but I do treat my employees good and I get treated well in kind .. That's what it's ALL ABOUT -- RESPECT..

  • RED
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    Hey Thought so , no trouble figuring your a union member, or perhapse an employee ( is your alias Debbie? )

    In the real world, and in every walk of life, all sensible people/employees empty garbage cans, disinfect the bathroom, and do filing, paperwork and labour work or run errands not listed as Main duties of our employment. This, however, does not belittle our professionalism, it enhances it We merely pitch in and help wherever it is needed.

    It's the same lesson we try to teach our children as they grow: to help, and try to be helpful.

    What makes you any different?

    Oh Yeah! The offer of a 20% raise that most of us do not get.

    Stop complaining....