Nurses reject governments 'final offer'

Staff ~ The Telegram
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The province's nurses have rejected the latest offer from the provincial government, with 63 per cent voting against it.
"Nurses have once again sent a clear message to government that they are not prepared to accept language that goes against their right to collective bargaining and disrespects their disabled colleagues," says Debbie Forward, Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses' Union (NLNU) president.

The province's nurses have rejected the latest offer from the provincial government, with 63 per cent voting against it.
"Nurses have once again sent a clear message to government that they are not prepared to accept language that goes against their right to collective bargaining and disrespects their disabled colleagues," says Debbie Forward, Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses' Union (NLNU) president.
Earlier this year, nurses voted in favour of strike action based upon the inclusion of the market adjustment and extended earnings loss language.
The latest offer, called a final offer by government, was presented to nurses by the negotiating team with a recommendation for rejection.
The NLNU has said nurses are willing to take the two outstanding issues to binding arbitration as an alternative to job action.
Forward said the union directors will now decide when to serve strike notice, "but a strike does not have to be inevitable," she said, adding that "nurses are willing to take the risk of binding arbitration."
Premier Danny Williams, however, has said the province won't go to arbitration.
Government's offer included a 31 per cent increase to the starting salary, from $45,792 to $60,000 over four years, as well as a 27 per cent hike to the top-tier of the salary scale, from $58,511 to $74,295.

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses

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Recent comments

  • Union Member
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    My question to the nurses is this, if you are on extended earnings loss, meaning you have been found unable to work as a nurse obviously, by your doctors, why do you want to keep your job. You have been found unable to work in this position again, yet you want to hang on to it. Why not step aside to let someone else who can actually work in this position get a permanent position. br br This is all about greed and the fact that nurses for some reason think they are better than the rest of us union workers who had to take a 20% raise over the next few years.

  • joe
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    To most of the stupid commenters on this forum. Whats the old saying......
    Keep your mouth shut and people may think you are a fool, open your mouth and prove it to everyone. The govt needs to get this settled without a strike. No other union negotiations have ever been conducted in the public spotlight as much as this nurses round. The government has been on a public nurse bashing campaign and many of the public are buying in. Its a sad state of affairs. Nasty Nate you are to be pitied.

  • L
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    This is all about Ms. Forward taking on a court challenge on the behalf of nurses across Canada. This is the way to get elected as a national leader I am sure it has nothing,,absolutely nothing to do with health care. If the concern was health care then the strike would not happen. The government has bent and caved in at least three times over the past year,,but still there must be a strike because there must be a court challenge as simple as that. The driving force is also a large number of nurses getting ready for retirement and only want to increase their benefits upon retirement. Again this is greed and nothing more. It is time to put this crowd out to pasture and increase the numbers being trained so that people like Forward cannot hold a province to ransom, and try to justify her actions as beneficial to us all. You are elected, you are a mouthpiece for a union , you job is to grab as much as you can. If you do not you will be out of a job stop trying to convince us who know better.

  • Graham
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    jalen and isdaby... two nonsense names made by the same person it looks like - any politician would LOVE to have 63% of the vote ! That's a CLEAR majority. Just in case you aren't capable of understanding what a majority is, it's anything above 50%.

  • Early August
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    hhmmm... The Nurses' Union is willing to go to binding arbitration, but Williams is not. WHY?!

    Every day in the news, there is yet another story of how our province's healthcare system has been badly neglected for FAR TOO LONG, resulting in poor quality of service, mistakes and dangerous under-staffing.

    Williams and Wiseman have had their heads buried in the sand and this is just one example of this...

  • Seriously come on
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Just great!! The nurses vs the Government is back in the news again!! I was so happy not to have to listen to this for the past few weeks but now it is back again.

    Name me one career choice where straight out of school you can go from $45K to $60K over four years not counting the money one would make doing overtime!! If you are on disability and can't work at the job you once did after 2 years that is unfortunate but should it cost someone else a permanent job? NO! And if you manage to come back after 2 years or more off the job should you have the right to keep the same seniority as if you never left? NO way, would I want someone just back after two years with my life in their hands or someone who has been there every day for the past two years??

    Anyways, I am so sick and tired of this storyline I just want to see it come to an end. Unfortunately for the nurses side of things this is how it will end. You will go on strike, you will be forced back to work, you will take a deal that is worse that the one that is on the table right now, and the worst part is you will do this all over again next time the collective agreement needs to be renewed.

    Each time this happens the union loses some public support and has been happening for a long time so don't for one second think that everybody is with you on this as the majority of the public is probably as fed up with this crap as I am. Sign a deal or go on strike, just get it over with!!!

  • Pat
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    It is pathetic that a group of intelligent individuals, who are probably highly compensated for their abilities to negotiate, can't settle their differences. Both sides continue to put their bargaining positions ahead of health care priorities in the province and remain stuck in their positions. Here's a thought for both sides: What about giving up your salaries while you sort this out? Not likely, eh? That's reserved for nurses!

  • fintip
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    Of the number of nurses entitled to vote on this offer, only 50.4% followed Ms. Forward's forceful advice. Not only is this not an overwhelming vote of confidence in Ms. Forward, but it suggests there are a great many nurses in this province who feel that the deal is a reasonable one. Our nurses perform a vital function - most of them in a highly conscientious and professional manner - and their raise is well deserved even if it is on the high side of what government can afford and the public can support. This province is rapidly approaching the point where 50% of its annual revenues will be spent on health care. After getting almost everything she demanded, Ms. Forward now wants binding arbitration to give her the rest. We expect government to allocate resources fairly, reasonably and in the best interests of the province as a whole. When special interests oppose those decisions and threaten to hold the public hostage, we don't expect it to run and hide. We expect it to hang tough. Beyond this one contract there are countless other health care hurdles ahead, most of which will require money. There comes a point, and I think we are well past it, where someone has to step back and ask whether there are better ways to improve our health and well-being - ways that don't impose such a huge financial burden on every child from the day it is born. What better time than during the coming nurses strike to make a start. If you're still not sure, read the new book Worried Sick .

  • Ed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    I have said before that nurses should be paid and treated well however the offer to nurses is a good one and should have been accepted. 30 percent over 5 years is well in excess of anything being given in the private sector.
    I do not have a problem with people being paid based on the demands of their job and how well they perform it. I disagree with pay being based on seniority.

  • Nurse
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    All government has to do is change basically 2 words. br If they want to pay a nurse extra to work in Labrador or another isolated community by all means go ahead, but you cannot pay someone just entering the work force more than you're paying someone who has been there for 20 years. Change the words in that clause and nurses are all for the new contract!

  • Nasty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Beverly my dear, you must be one of the ones I heard about growing up. You really have no idea what your members cost others. You feel that your entitlement is earned by your three year programs. Well you need to put in many more selfless years before you will ever realize what it means to go without a family member while growing up due to the abuses of those less deserving. Next time you think you can challenge the comments or statements of one that has lived with the Nurses neglectful ethics, you may feel free to speak, till that time perform your tasks as ordered or find alternative employment.

    I tend to not launch personal attacks, but when confronted with ignorance I will respond.

  • kma
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Dear Union Member,

    Sounds like you are sour grapes because your Union Leader did not ensure your memebers were well informed about what they were signing. Obviously, all you looked at was the 20% and it was appealing to you. Now who is being caught up in the money !!Once again, proof that Nurses make informed decisions and they know what they are signing before they put their pen to paper ! Thank your lucky stars that if you are ever one of our patients, we provide YOU with information so you can make an Informed decision. Maybe next time you'll make sure you're informed before you put pen to paper !!

  • Sam
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    I think the nurses are beyond greedy. I have a friend who is a nurse who regularly calls in sick during her scheduled shifts, gets her sick pay as a result, and then will turn around and go in for overtime on her days off and get paid double. Tell me that isn't abuse of the system and shameful that the management allows it. If you're sick for your regular shifts you shouldn't be elegible for overtime during that block. Personally, I think every government employee should be forced to work in the private sector for a while. If I don't show up to work, I don't get paid. If I'm sick, I don't get paid. If I take holidays I don't get paid. However, I can still provide a more than comfortable living for my family. It's called taking pride in your work, doing a good efficient job, and heaven forbid... the dreaded word BUDGET and live within your means. Everyone this day in age expects everything to be just handed to them. Try working for a change and taking accountability for your own actions instead of passing the buck or hiding behind your union. Unions were originally designed to protect the labourer but I think it's gone too far. No one has to have any accountability for their actions and job performance anymore because The Union will protect them. You can literally kill someone, as shown with the Breast cancer botch up (only one of many examples), and still keep your job with all the perks. The entire Eastern Health Management and Directors should have been fired for their complacency and poor job performance. Personally, I don't think the nurses are entitled to a single thing except to be on par with the other Eastern provinces. I'm sick of nurses saying I could make so much more if I went to Alberta. If you want to make Alberta money, than pick up and move there!!

  • Union Member
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    To KMA

    I am not sour grapes about the settlement my union got. When Danny Williams said all that will be put on the table is 20%, 99% if not all our members accepted it, including the Extended Earnings Loss change. Why? We are not greedy, we do not feel we are any better than the other union members who came before us. Would I like to get more money, wouldnt we all. We have to look at the economy as well. We are lucky to even have a job in this economy, and by the way I have also worked in private industry, where you are paid peanuts and expected to be a slave. I consider myself lucky to be getting what we got.

    Is my job any better or less stressful than yours...I doubt it. Do I feel that when a doctor puts me off work telling me I cant do this job ever again, due to injury, will I go back to this job, not likely.

    I just wish you people go on strike and get it over with, just like you did a few years ago. Whiile you are living on $100 wk strike pay, I will be working and earning the salary we settled for. I will not be going in debt for something that is based on principal. That dont pay the bills.

  • Joe
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    It looks like support is waning with only 63% voting against. How many of this 63 % were pressured into voting against the offer. Remember the state of the economy and suck it up and go back to work. How many other Newfoundlanders are working harder and longer for much less.

  • Nasty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    So I wonder if Debbie will use intimidation on those that voted to not strike and continue to perform the job they were hired to do, or will Debbie order her gang members to attack those that exercise their right to work? . Sorry Debbie, but those that voted NO can go to work and those that voted to strike can be fired. Pretty simple. Only need to replace those that do not like the job and hire those that really want to work and do the job they trained to do.

    As for the comments from Physicians Spouse from St. John's, I lived with a parent who was not only a Physician, but also the Chief of Staff at Hospital. Do you realize how foolish your comments seem to those that lived with the incompetencies of the Nurses? My parent needed to spend days at a time sleeping at Hospital due to the Nurses leaving work for this excuse or that excuse. These people think they are above the profession, but did not hold the aptitude to become a licensed Physician yet demand the same remuneration and respect. I for one see through that line, and had to live without my parent being home so that the Nurses could.

    Shame on them and the Union that takes and never gives.

    Once they learn to do the job, then they can request a little more from the public.

  • Flatliner
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    There are many silly comments on this tread. What is really comes down to is free market conditions. Regardless of what peopel say about fair compensation and greed, employees have a right to choose what is fair and equitable. If they believe that they are getting a raw deal, they let their feet do the talking. Hence, the retention issues. Beating up on unions and nurses will not change that act.

    And Nasty Nate, instead of posting comments here, perhaps you might be better served discussing your issues with a psychologist....Based on your inane commentary, it appears that you are in need of assistance.

  • Injured Nurse
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    The EEL Clause is just wrong. I was a nurse who was put on EEL a number of years ago and was told by administration that I would never work at nursing again. This decision was made without consultation with me or my primary physician, it was determined solely on the fact of how long I was off, greater than 2 years. I was told it was the 'normal course for a worker who was of for this length of time' and was just a formality that would be to my benefit. I was young and green and accepted this, but never gave up on the 'idea' of returning to work.
    Well, I DID return to work a few years later, to my previous job, but had an unreal difficulty getting through the 'red tape' that the hospital administration had set up. My UNION was there to help me, and I did get back to work, off EEL. I have been working now about 15 years post injury.
    I am not alone, I work everyday with nurses who have been injured on the job and have returned to work. We are not quitters. Our profession is a potentially dangerous one. Everyday we go to work there's a potential to get injured, may it be from typical lifting, pulling, pushing of equipment, moving patients (most times only two nurses for patients weighing up to ~300lbs), faulty or lack of proper equipment to do our job, or maybe a confused/combative patient or irate family member who strikes out against us. But everyday, and every night we decide to go to work and do the best we can to help our patients, despite the threat of injury.

    Nursing is a 24 hour a day job. We are there when patients go to sleep and we are there when they wake up and all the time in between. We work outside the labour standards of not lifting over 50lbs. When was the last time you came across an adult weighing only 50lbs? And despite the illusion of some, we do not have 'orderlies' who do all our lifting for us. We do what is necessary to help, protect and look after our patients. Patients first, and then we deal with the consequences. Proud to be a nurse!

  • Koldford
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    This government does not understand what the word negotiate actually means! They have been trying to BULLEY, THREATEN, MALIGN, RAM a now supposedly legislate a collective agreement by breaking their own labor law that our union was required to follow......when Dan or Jerome don't like the rules - these are the tactics they resort to.

    The only reason we don't have an agreement with Government is because of Dannys EGO.....too bad innocent people will suffer because he can never be wrong!

    There is not a nurse in this province that would have rejected this agreement if government had of agreed to our unions counter proposals.

    Nurses do not want to go on strike. All it will take to stop a strike will be a couple of small wording adjustments or to send these 2 clauses to arbitration.

    If a strike happens its this governments fault, for again not listening to nurses! You see it has NEVER been all about the money for us its about RESPECT for our profession which has different priorities and issues than other unions.

  • Nasty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    You know what? I do not accept the Nurses. I pay their wages, and I do not want to continue to do so under the threats and poor performance on the job. I want to see them not on strike, but locked out and fired. Enough is enough. I am no Danny Williams fan, but if he caves into this gang of cut throats he might as well pack his bags and move to St. Pierre.

    The only thing I will find pleasure in will be spending my lunch hour on rainy days driving back and forth drenching these gang members with the oil slicks on the sides of the roadways near the potentially illegal gatherings by this cult without a permit posted for such. I just hope that I will have the privilege to drench Debbie on one of her visits to her minion followers.

  • In the west
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Just can not understand why this govt. is so afraid of binding or any kind of arbitration for that matter.

    You would thing the best thing to do would be to avoid a strike and it is a way out for both sides. The nurses may not get what they want, but I guess the premier wants to be holding all the cards.

  • Union Hater
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    The day they go on strike legislate them back to work with 4 years and 21.5% If they stay out fine the union 250, 000.00 a day and 25, 000.00 a day for each nurse that stays out. Unions got this country in the state they are in - they are no good for nothing. Down With Unions

  • isdaby
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    37% against strike!!!! Doesn't sound like nurses are all that united on these 2 issues.

  • What Ever
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Heard it all before.
    I know several nurses, and they all argee they make enough for what they do. but as they say, if they can get more money, and do less work, its a good deal. plus job security for the assistants. nurses and assistants routinely take naps during the night shift, they plan their night around the naps, one of my friend regularly does night shift beacause he can on average sleep for 1/3 the shift and get paid the full shift. Apparenty this is common practice.
    Sorry, but if I'm in there and i suddenly need help, i dont want it from someone who just comes to there sences, or got woke up because there is suddenly some patients to attend to.
    i have no pitty for the nurses. there getting as bad as the whinning fishermen.
    Imagine the moral in a house where a nurse is married to a fisherman, WOW!

  • Physicians Spouse
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Just a quick note from the spouse of a physician to let you know there are many, many of us out there who understand the issues and support the Nurses 100%. There are many ignorant people like Union Hater that are just not aware of, or understand, the issues. We should feel sorry for them.

    The gov't doesn't want binding arbitration because they know what they are trying to do is union busting and we have a long and strong history of unions in this country. Do what you have to do Nurses and don't pay attention to the Tory operatives who stack the call in shows and the feedback here and at CBC online.

    Danny Williams should be ashamed by the disrespect he has shown the Nurses throughout this so-called negotiation. He lied, cheated, threatened, bullied and stamped his feet when he couldn't get his own way. But, are we to expect less from poster child for Short Man's Syndrome? I don't suppose so.

    Good luck, and I'll be honking my horn as I drive by, if he doesn't cave before you strike.

  • M
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Union Member, if your union didn't explain the full potential of the Market Adjustment to you, then i suggest you take it up with you union. The NLNU did explain the possible ramifications of that clause, and that is the main reason why that contract was rejected. It's part of a nurse's job to look at a situation, assess all possible outcomes, and deal with it accordingly. That Market adjustment has many dangerous outcomes possible. If your union decided the risk was worth the 20 %, then that is your decision, and theirs. The nurses have assessed the situation, and decided the risks outweighed the monetary factors.

    Despite what you may think , the money did not matter to the nurses. If it had, the contract would have been agreed to back in December, when Kennedy threated to take all offers off the table if contracts were not signed by December 31/08. Others signed, but the nurses did not. And did the government take the monetary offer off the table, like they threatened? No, they did not. The offer was still there, long after.

    So think, and think hard, on what this government is capable of, to achieve it's own ends, before you start throwing stones. A contract is a contract, and once it's signed, it's a done deal. You have to work under the conditions to which you agreed.

  • trevor
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    i actually hope the nurses do not get what they are asking from government. i hope government denies request after request.

  • Keepin' It Real
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Looks like the nurses want binding arbitration because they'll get exactly what they want. Too bad it's called *negotiation* and requires the agreement of both sides. The government has offered salary increases that appear quite generous. I haven't heard mention of any concessions made by the nurses in order to reach a compromise. Just Debbie Forward saying gimme, gimme, gimme.

    Unfortunately, the pockets in Newfoundland are only so deep, so you can't get everything you want. See ya at work after the back-to-work legislation comes down, nurses!

  • Nurse and proud of it
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Bashing the leader of the NLNU only shows how truly ignorant some people are. Debbie Forward has remained poised & focused on the issues throughout this whole process.......unlike the Premier & Mr. Kennedy. They have taken every opportunity to skirt around the issues & personally attack Ms. Forward. To those in other unions who had to accept the 20% (as one person here as commented), my comment is this: no one had to take the 20%. If I recall, your offer also went to a vote, with the other unions recommending to accept. That is NOT the fault of the nurses. Every union is different, each facing its own set of difficulties & challenges. Obviously the MA & EEL clauses were acceptable to your union body or it was not adequately explained to the members before acceptance. Either way, again, NOT the nurses problem. This contract is not acceptable to us, and it is our right to reject. Our union has made it very clear that we would accept the monetray offer & was agreeable to send the two outstanding clauses to binding arbitration. Yes, this is a gamble for both sides, but obviously a fair resolution to this dispute. Gov't has refused to negotiate & has forced our hand. I think some of those out there insistent on branding us as greedy take a step back & look at what they are asking us to give up in exchange for those extra $$$. Money talks....but not in this case!

  • jalen
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    I wish they'd just walk and get it over with. And then get down to business of finding a new union boss. One who after all the bawling can get more than 63 percent to side with her.

  • Phoebe Tilley
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Sorry Debbie but there is no way to send a clear message to Dan and his Clone Jerome. Not once do any of them address the real issues they just dance and talk around it as usual. Then Ross NO CRISIS HERE Wiseman speaks only when Danny tells him its ok to speak. Then he can only say exactly as he is told to say. Then we wonder why Health care is in such a mess. With thes three at the top its not a big surprise at all.

  • RN78
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    to union member, this is about a principal. Something the Nurses Union believes in! The job is not held for the nurse, it would give someone the chance to reenter the work place for a position if ever deemed fit, not to a position tht is held as tat would be long gone. I believe the MA are union busting for the NLNU, when an employer has the right to give different benefits to individuals working side by side, it is unfair and will cause havoc in the workplace.
    The union has attempted to placate government but they are so inflexible they can not see the forest before the trees.

  • Frustrated
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Everyone should be ashamed for bashing eachother out on these debates. I'm married to a nurse who voted to take the deal. In my opinion both sides are losing here. I voted for Danny in the election but he needs just trying to make a point by being stubborn. These two clauses are very important to some and not to others, it's just a matter of opinion.

    Nurses work hard, sure there are some who may not work as hard as they should, but in general they work hard long hours and they should be paid well for it. Most people would never work as a nurse if they actually had the chance to work at it for a few weeks. It's stressful, busy, disgusting, emotionally draining, and very important to patients recovering. They earn every dollar of their salary and they should be paid on par with Danny's offer. My wife had her hands inside someone's leg holding an artery to keep him from bleeding out/dying in her first year, tell that man she's not worth the extra $3-4 per hour. You'd be darn well happy to have a well paid nurse or doctor the next time you or your close family are in for an emergency. For the few sleeping nurses out there.....WAKE UP and do your job well so you don't make your co-workers look lazy.

    No one ever wants to strike and people who would bash fishermen for losing their livelyhood should also be ashamed. They worked hard for years and lost everything, put yourself in their place and don't be so heartless.

    Unions can be good or bad as always. Without them you could be making more or less. I tend to not like them anymore myself, as someone who studied labour market economics. Their original intent, in the 40's and 50's, was sound and needed because employees were slaves to their employers. Now everything is always grey, neither black nor white.

    As a new couple going into our 6th year of marriage, my wife and I are worried about the Healthcare system here in NL. After living in PEI for 3 years, although they few specialists, the healthcare system was much more efficient and less stressful. NL is having such a hard time with Healthcare.
    No matter what anyone thinks , the truth is that there are NOT enough doctors and nurses. They DO NOT want to come here from away; or at least most do not. (Why come her to start from scratch again with 30-40% less pay??) Hospitals are FILLED to capacity. Specialists are over-loaded with work and rare. (ie. 2 year waiting list to get an allergy test? comon!?) Facilities are dungy, out-of-date, using old technology from 20 years ago, etc.

    Make no wonder tests are being done wrong and everyone is ready to kill eachother over a few clauses in a contract. For a growing, prosperous, bright future province, why are we not investing in the infrastructure we need to get to the next level. We need better schools, more teachers, more doctors, more nurses, better facilities for all, more police....this are all things we should know from the very basics of starting/maintaining a growing city. Anyone ever played Sim City before? There are core fundamentals there. LOL.

    So what do we do, if it stays this bad we'll do what almost every young Newfoundlander does, move away for what?? (more money of course, how can you get your lives started on these salaries, should we live in a small apartment our whole lives or do we go somewhere where we can make a living/life for ourselves and our children to be? (if that's in the cards))

    Lets be real for once, anyone if they were a nurse would want more help because it's needed. Now if a young nursing student comes out of school in Canada and looks for somewhere to work, do they want to start here in NL making $22/hr and stressed to the max or would they go to Ontario or Alberta where the starting salary is $27-30/hr, there's better facilities to work in, a much higher salary cap, more benefits, and less it's less stressful because there is more staff. Why is there more staff??? Because the environment for life in general is so much better. No one is wrong for wanting more for their life/family; especially when it's needed.

    I'm talking from a Townie perspective too, I can't imagine being a nurse in central or a community outside of St. John's, they must be gone totally crazy. One of them was repremanded for not making sure the oil was delivered in the morning, what the hell? Comon?

    I don't care if you work in the cushy government building with me and all our sick days, personal days, annual leave, vacation days, holidays and breaks galore or if you worked in retail like I once did. If you were overrun with customers and long shifts you'd welcome extra pay and help like anyone else. If you're not making $22 dollars an hour starting off it's your fault not the nurses. Anyone who complains about someone else having the chance to do better for themselves is just jealous and self centered. I hope you never get really sick and have to be in the hospital in 4 or 5 years when all the great, devoted, kind , hard working, beautiful nurses and doctors who were once here are working out in the Praries somewhere and all that's left here are the few poor souls trying to keep it going till then can get out whenever they can and retire.

    While I was retraining, my wife paid off her $25,000 student loan in a little over two years while supporting me when I went back to school. Don't tell me she doesn't work hard and certainly don't tell a nurse face to face. Actually, yes do that, most would still treat you the same as the nicest person on their floor, with respect. I just hope you get the one who doesn't and well.....you know...shoves something up somewhere and.....

    Seriously, don't hate on people....it doesn't solve anything. Only the nurses really know how hard their job is so don't judge. When my wife was in food service her job was just as hard emotionally as it was some days being a nurse. Some days it was harder because she was only making min. wage so there was even less motivation, but she bettered herself and survived. No matter what anyone says, in any industry money is a motivator and it's needed otherwise most people would never work. That's why we all deserve a raise.

    So much government money gets wasted on so many things...in fact...these recent health care laws suits could have been, possibly, prevented if more money had been pumped into the healhcare infrastructure years ago. Instead we were building greenhouses to build cucumbers and numerous other get rich quick projects.


    PS. I don't know any school teachers personally, but, for those of you out there.....you deserve much more money and respect too.

    Peace.

  • matam
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Union member from St.John's... just so you know... the health boards are already posting the positions of injured nurses and have been doing it for quite some time already. We don't expect a position held. Just to be able to come back if the possibility arises. And not lose senority. It has happened in the past and why should a nurse who injured herself lifting a 250lb man while working and did so possibly because the workload was so high, lose everthing ? The workload of nurses today and ever since I began working is tremendous. And that has been for over 20 years. Injuries are inevitable because the government has not adequately provided the workplace with the amount of nurses it needs to have a safe environment. What's good for one union is not necessarily good for another.

  • concerned citizen
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Injured nurse ,there are many professions that are more dangerous than yours such as police officers,corrections officers,military personnel . I don't hear any of these groups whining and complaning like the nurses. Go ahead and strike and lose a months pay. Debbie Forward has led you for the last time when all the frustrated union members wforce her to resign a few months after a strike. The taxpayers of this province can smell greed!

  • Karon
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Does the public realize that while on extended medical leave these positions cannot be filled by another permanent nurse ...hence why there are so many casual positions ...... if you are off over 2 years due to medical maybe there should be some sort of retraining required to assist you in returning to work in some other area....you can't have it both ways ...long term leave and NON casual staff ... pick one !!!!

  • Debbie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    How about Debbie Forward flight for her casual employees too? Why isn't she trying to get these workers permanent positions? New graduates are being offered up to $5000 to stay in NL, yet the nurses who graduated last year got $0 for taking casual positions with Eastern Health. Debbie Forward should also remember that casual nurses do not get paid for sick days. She can stick up for the nurses that are off for 2-3 years on paid leave but does not mention the poor casual's that miss 1 day of work and do not get paid for it. No wonder the public thinks nurses are greedy. The public is not getting the full story from the nurses leader.

  • Tara
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Nasty Nate from RN97- well you have quite a fitting name. i find your banter offensive and insulting- and dripping with ignorance. I have been a nurse for 12 years. I truly love and care for the people that i nurse- but I am tired. We work holidays, weekends, we give up days off, work through our lunch break, 12 hour shifts turn into 14,16 18 hours. Its not about the money it never was. Because you don't become a nurse to get rich- we don't make as much as you think- I am not greedy, or lazy and i am sick and tired of being treated as i am. I work short staffed, hunt for supplies I need, fix toilets, change light bulbs, throw out the trash, hold hands and dry tears. and these things you can not put a price on. Its about respect, having the resources that we need to do the best job we can- for the people we care for. I am intelligent, caring and compassionate- and university educated. If you had a negative experience concerning the practice of an RN that is unfortunate but that one does not represent every nurse. I hope you take good care of yourself- stay healthy- you would not want to get sick and have to rely nurses with such negative view about our profession. I don't want to strike- i don't want to walk out on the people I care for - but I am prepared to strike - not for money, or increased vacation. For respect , resources, and ensuring that i am the best nurse i can be. But I can not allow a man to tell me what I am worth-

  • Jim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Looks like Debbie is losing the support of her nurses AND the public. If they go on strike, legislate them back to work at the original offer. Forget the perks of the extra salary level at the top and the elimiation of the levels at the bottom of
    the scale.
    Danny and Jerome have to stick to their guns on this one!!!

  • Beverly
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    Nasty Nate only Danny Castro Williams uses intimidation to get his way and influence people. Apparently it works on you just fine. Also Nasty you dont lie very well either. You sad story about growing up in a house with a parent who was not only a Physician but Chief of Staff at a Hospital. You Nasty my boy are so full of s h i t its starting to run out your ears. Sad life you live thank God you have to live it. Sounds like you still probably live at home with mommy and daddy anyway.

  • Union Member
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    My question to the nurses is this, if you are on extended earnings loss, meaning you have been found unable to work as a nurse obviously, by your doctors, why do you want to keep your job. You have been found unable to work in this position again, yet you want to hang on to it. Why not step aside to let someone else who can actually work in this position get a permanent position. br br This is all about greed and the fact that nurses for some reason think they are better than the rest of us union workers who had to take a 20% raise over the next few years.

  • joe
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    To most of the stupid commenters on this forum. Whats the old saying......
    Keep your mouth shut and people may think you are a fool, open your mouth and prove it to everyone. The govt needs to get this settled without a strike. No other union negotiations have ever been conducted in the public spotlight as much as this nurses round. The government has been on a public nurse bashing campaign and many of the public are buying in. Its a sad state of affairs. Nasty Nate you are to be pitied.

  • L
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    This is all about Ms. Forward taking on a court challenge on the behalf of nurses across Canada. This is the way to get elected as a national leader I am sure it has nothing,,absolutely nothing to do with health care. If the concern was health care then the strike would not happen. The government has bent and caved in at least three times over the past year,,but still there must be a strike because there must be a court challenge as simple as that. The driving force is also a large number of nurses getting ready for retirement and only want to increase their benefits upon retirement. Again this is greed and nothing more. It is time to put this crowd out to pasture and increase the numbers being trained so that people like Forward cannot hold a province to ransom, and try to justify her actions as beneficial to us all. You are elected, you are a mouthpiece for a union , you job is to grab as much as you can. If you do not you will be out of a job stop trying to convince us who know better.

  • Graham
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    jalen and isdaby... two nonsense names made by the same person it looks like - any politician would LOVE to have 63% of the vote ! That's a CLEAR majority. Just in case you aren't capable of understanding what a majority is, it's anything above 50%.

  • Early August
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    hhmmm... The Nurses' Union is willing to go to binding arbitration, but Williams is not. WHY?!

    Every day in the news, there is yet another story of how our province's healthcare system has been badly neglected for FAR TOO LONG, resulting in poor quality of service, mistakes and dangerous under-staffing.

    Williams and Wiseman have had their heads buried in the sand and this is just one example of this...

  • Seriously come on
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Just great!! The nurses vs the Government is back in the news again!! I was so happy not to have to listen to this for the past few weeks but now it is back again.

    Name me one career choice where straight out of school you can go from $45K to $60K over four years not counting the money one would make doing overtime!! If you are on disability and can't work at the job you once did after 2 years that is unfortunate but should it cost someone else a permanent job? NO! And if you manage to come back after 2 years or more off the job should you have the right to keep the same seniority as if you never left? NO way, would I want someone just back after two years with my life in their hands or someone who has been there every day for the past two years??

    Anyways, I am so sick and tired of this storyline I just want to see it come to an end. Unfortunately for the nurses side of things this is how it will end. You will go on strike, you will be forced back to work, you will take a deal that is worse that the one that is on the table right now, and the worst part is you will do this all over again next time the collective agreement needs to be renewed.

    Each time this happens the union loses some public support and has been happening for a long time so don't for one second think that everybody is with you on this as the majority of the public is probably as fed up with this crap as I am. Sign a deal or go on strike, just get it over with!!!

  • Pat
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    It is pathetic that a group of intelligent individuals, who are probably highly compensated for their abilities to negotiate, can't settle their differences. Both sides continue to put their bargaining positions ahead of health care priorities in the province and remain stuck in their positions. Here's a thought for both sides: What about giving up your salaries while you sort this out? Not likely, eh? That's reserved for nurses!

  • fintip
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Of the number of nurses entitled to vote on this offer, only 50.4% followed Ms. Forward's forceful advice. Not only is this not an overwhelming vote of confidence in Ms. Forward, but it suggests there are a great many nurses in this province who feel that the deal is a reasonable one. Our nurses perform a vital function - most of them in a highly conscientious and professional manner - and their raise is well deserved even if it is on the high side of what government can afford and the public can support. This province is rapidly approaching the point where 50% of its annual revenues will be spent on health care. After getting almost everything she demanded, Ms. Forward now wants binding arbitration to give her the rest. We expect government to allocate resources fairly, reasonably and in the best interests of the province as a whole. When special interests oppose those decisions and threaten to hold the public hostage, we don't expect it to run and hide. We expect it to hang tough. Beyond this one contract there are countless other health care hurdles ahead, most of which will require money. There comes a point, and I think we are well past it, where someone has to step back and ask whether there are better ways to improve our health and well-being - ways that don't impose such a huge financial burden on every child from the day it is born. What better time than during the coming nurses strike to make a start. If you're still not sure, read the new book Worried Sick .

  • Ed
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    I have said before that nurses should be paid and treated well however the offer to nurses is a good one and should have been accepted. 30 percent over 5 years is well in excess of anything being given in the private sector.
    I do not have a problem with people being paid based on the demands of their job and how well they perform it. I disagree with pay being based on seniority.

  • Nurse
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    All government has to do is change basically 2 words. br If they want to pay a nurse extra to work in Labrador or another isolated community by all means go ahead, but you cannot pay someone just entering the work force more than you're paying someone who has been there for 20 years. Change the words in that clause and nurses are all for the new contract!

  • Nasty
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    Beverly my dear, you must be one of the ones I heard about growing up. You really have no idea what your members cost others. You feel that your entitlement is earned by your three year programs. Well you need to put in many more selfless years before you will ever realize what it means to go without a family member while growing up due to the abuses of those less deserving. Next time you think you can challenge the comments or statements of one that has lived with the Nurses neglectful ethics, you may feel free to speak, till that time perform your tasks as ordered or find alternative employment.

    I tend to not launch personal attacks, but when confronted with ignorance I will respond.

  • kma
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    Dear Union Member,

    Sounds like you are sour grapes because your Union Leader did not ensure your memebers were well informed about what they were signing. Obviously, all you looked at was the 20% and it was appealing to you. Now who is being caught up in the money !!Once again, proof that Nurses make informed decisions and they know what they are signing before they put their pen to paper ! Thank your lucky stars that if you are ever one of our patients, we provide YOU with information so you can make an Informed decision. Maybe next time you'll make sure you're informed before you put pen to paper !!

  • Sam
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    I think the nurses are beyond greedy. I have a friend who is a nurse who regularly calls in sick during her scheduled shifts, gets her sick pay as a result, and then will turn around and go in for overtime on her days off and get paid double. Tell me that isn't abuse of the system and shameful that the management allows it. If you're sick for your regular shifts you shouldn't be elegible for overtime during that block. Personally, I think every government employee should be forced to work in the private sector for a while. If I don't show up to work, I don't get paid. If I'm sick, I don't get paid. If I take holidays I don't get paid. However, I can still provide a more than comfortable living for my family. It's called taking pride in your work, doing a good efficient job, and heaven forbid... the dreaded word BUDGET and live within your means. Everyone this day in age expects everything to be just handed to them. Try working for a change and taking accountability for your own actions instead of passing the buck or hiding behind your union. Unions were originally designed to protect the labourer but I think it's gone too far. No one has to have any accountability for their actions and job performance anymore because The Union will protect them. You can literally kill someone, as shown with the Breast cancer botch up (only one of many examples), and still keep your job with all the perks. The entire Eastern Health Management and Directors should have been fired for their complacency and poor job performance. Personally, I don't think the nurses are entitled to a single thing except to be on par with the other Eastern provinces. I'm sick of nurses saying I could make so much more if I went to Alberta. If you want to make Alberta money, than pick up and move there!!

  • Union Member
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    To KMA

    I am not sour grapes about the settlement my union got. When Danny Williams said all that will be put on the table is 20%, 99% if not all our members accepted it, including the Extended Earnings Loss change. Why? We are not greedy, we do not feel we are any better than the other union members who came before us. Would I like to get more money, wouldnt we all. We have to look at the economy as well. We are lucky to even have a job in this economy, and by the way I have also worked in private industry, where you are paid peanuts and expected to be a slave. I consider myself lucky to be getting what we got.

    Is my job any better or less stressful than yours...I doubt it. Do I feel that when a doctor puts me off work telling me I cant do this job ever again, due to injury, will I go back to this job, not likely.

    I just wish you people go on strike and get it over with, just like you did a few years ago. Whiile you are living on $100 wk strike pay, I will be working and earning the salary we settled for. I will not be going in debt for something that is based on principal. That dont pay the bills.

  • Joe
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    It looks like support is waning with only 63% voting against. How many of this 63 % were pressured into voting against the offer. Remember the state of the economy and suck it up and go back to work. How many other Newfoundlanders are working harder and longer for much less.

  • Nasty
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    So I wonder if Debbie will use intimidation on those that voted to not strike and continue to perform the job they were hired to do, or will Debbie order her gang members to attack those that exercise their right to work? . Sorry Debbie, but those that voted NO can go to work and those that voted to strike can be fired. Pretty simple. Only need to replace those that do not like the job and hire those that really want to work and do the job they trained to do.

    As for the comments from Physicians Spouse from St. John's, I lived with a parent who was not only a Physician, but also the Chief of Staff at Hospital. Do you realize how foolish your comments seem to those that lived with the incompetencies of the Nurses? My parent needed to spend days at a time sleeping at Hospital due to the Nurses leaving work for this excuse or that excuse. These people think they are above the profession, but did not hold the aptitude to become a licensed Physician yet demand the same remuneration and respect. I for one see through that line, and had to live without my parent being home so that the Nurses could.

    Shame on them and the Union that takes and never gives.

    Once they learn to do the job, then they can request a little more from the public.

  • Flatliner
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    There are many silly comments on this tread. What is really comes down to is free market conditions. Regardless of what peopel say about fair compensation and greed, employees have a right to choose what is fair and equitable. If they believe that they are getting a raw deal, they let their feet do the talking. Hence, the retention issues. Beating up on unions and nurses will not change that act.

    And Nasty Nate, instead of posting comments here, perhaps you might be better served discussing your issues with a psychologist....Based on your inane commentary, it appears that you are in need of assistance.

  • Injured Nurse
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    The EEL Clause is just wrong. I was a nurse who was put on EEL a number of years ago and was told by administration that I would never work at nursing again. This decision was made without consultation with me or my primary physician, it was determined solely on the fact of how long I was off, greater than 2 years. I was told it was the 'normal course for a worker who was of for this length of time' and was just a formality that would be to my benefit. I was young and green and accepted this, but never gave up on the 'idea' of returning to work.
    Well, I DID return to work a few years later, to my previous job, but had an unreal difficulty getting through the 'red tape' that the hospital administration had set up. My UNION was there to help me, and I did get back to work, off EEL. I have been working now about 15 years post injury.
    I am not alone, I work everyday with nurses who have been injured on the job and have returned to work. We are not quitters. Our profession is a potentially dangerous one. Everyday we go to work there's a potential to get injured, may it be from typical lifting, pulling, pushing of equipment, moving patients (most times only two nurses for patients weighing up to ~300lbs), faulty or lack of proper equipment to do our job, or maybe a confused/combative patient or irate family member who strikes out against us. But everyday, and every night we decide to go to work and do the best we can to help our patients, despite the threat of injury.

    Nursing is a 24 hour a day job. We are there when patients go to sleep and we are there when they wake up and all the time in between. We work outside the labour standards of not lifting over 50lbs. When was the last time you came across an adult weighing only 50lbs? And despite the illusion of some, we do not have 'orderlies' who do all our lifting for us. We do what is necessary to help, protect and look after our patients. Patients first, and then we deal with the consequences. Proud to be a nurse!

  • Koldford
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    This government does not understand what the word negotiate actually means! They have been trying to BULLEY, THREATEN, MALIGN, RAM a now supposedly legislate a collective agreement by breaking their own labor law that our union was required to follow......when Dan or Jerome don't like the rules - these are the tactics they resort to.

    The only reason we don't have an agreement with Government is because of Dannys EGO.....too bad innocent people will suffer because he can never be wrong!

    There is not a nurse in this province that would have rejected this agreement if government had of agreed to our unions counter proposals.

    Nurses do not want to go on strike. All it will take to stop a strike will be a couple of small wording adjustments or to send these 2 clauses to arbitration.

    If a strike happens its this governments fault, for again not listening to nurses! You see it has NEVER been all about the money for us its about RESPECT for our profession which has different priorities and issues than other unions.

  • Nasty
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    You know what? I do not accept the Nurses. I pay their wages, and I do not want to continue to do so under the threats and poor performance on the job. I want to see them not on strike, but locked out and fired. Enough is enough. I am no Danny Williams fan, but if he caves into this gang of cut throats he might as well pack his bags and move to St. Pierre.

    The only thing I will find pleasure in will be spending my lunch hour on rainy days driving back and forth drenching these gang members with the oil slicks on the sides of the roadways near the potentially illegal gatherings by this cult without a permit posted for such. I just hope that I will have the privilege to drench Debbie on one of her visits to her minion followers.

  • In the west
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Just can not understand why this govt. is so afraid of binding or any kind of arbitration for that matter.

    You would thing the best thing to do would be to avoid a strike and it is a way out for both sides. The nurses may not get what they want, but I guess the premier wants to be holding all the cards.

  • Union Hater
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    The day they go on strike legislate them back to work with 4 years and 21.5% If they stay out fine the union 250, 000.00 a day and 25, 000.00 a day for each nurse that stays out. Unions got this country in the state they are in - they are no good for nothing. Down With Unions

  • isdaby
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    37% against strike!!!! Doesn't sound like nurses are all that united on these 2 issues.

  • What Ever
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Heard it all before.
    I know several nurses, and they all argee they make enough for what they do. but as they say, if they can get more money, and do less work, its a good deal. plus job security for the assistants. nurses and assistants routinely take naps during the night shift, they plan their night around the naps, one of my friend regularly does night shift beacause he can on average sleep for 1/3 the shift and get paid the full shift. Apparenty this is common practice.
    Sorry, but if I'm in there and i suddenly need help, i dont want it from someone who just comes to there sences, or got woke up because there is suddenly some patients to attend to.
    i have no pitty for the nurses. there getting as bad as the whinning fishermen.
    Imagine the moral in a house where a nurse is married to a fisherman, WOW!

  • Physicians Spouse
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Just a quick note from the spouse of a physician to let you know there are many, many of us out there who understand the issues and support the Nurses 100%. There are many ignorant people like Union Hater that are just not aware of, or understand, the issues. We should feel sorry for them.

    The gov't doesn't want binding arbitration because they know what they are trying to do is union busting and we have a long and strong history of unions in this country. Do what you have to do Nurses and don't pay attention to the Tory operatives who stack the call in shows and the feedback here and at CBC online.

    Danny Williams should be ashamed by the disrespect he has shown the Nurses throughout this so-called negotiation. He lied, cheated, threatened, bullied and stamped his feet when he couldn't get his own way. But, are we to expect less from poster child for Short Man's Syndrome? I don't suppose so.

    Good luck, and I'll be honking my horn as I drive by, if he doesn't cave before you strike.

  • M
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Union Member, if your union didn't explain the full potential of the Market Adjustment to you, then i suggest you take it up with you union. The NLNU did explain the possible ramifications of that clause, and that is the main reason why that contract was rejected. It's part of a nurse's job to look at a situation, assess all possible outcomes, and deal with it accordingly. That Market adjustment has many dangerous outcomes possible. If your union decided the risk was worth the 20 %, then that is your decision, and theirs. The nurses have assessed the situation, and decided the risks outweighed the monetary factors.

    Despite what you may think , the money did not matter to the nurses. If it had, the contract would have been agreed to back in December, when Kennedy threated to take all offers off the table if contracts were not signed by December 31/08. Others signed, but the nurses did not. And did the government take the monetary offer off the table, like they threatened? No, they did not. The offer was still there, long after.

    So think, and think hard, on what this government is capable of, to achieve it's own ends, before you start throwing stones. A contract is a contract, and once it's signed, it's a done deal. You have to work under the conditions to which you agreed.

  • trevor
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    i actually hope the nurses do not get what they are asking from government. i hope government denies request after request.

  • Keepin' It Real
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    Looks like the nurses want binding arbitration because they'll get exactly what they want. Too bad it's called *negotiation* and requires the agreement of both sides. The government has offered salary increases that appear quite generous. I haven't heard mention of any concessions made by the nurses in order to reach a compromise. Just Debbie Forward saying gimme, gimme, gimme.

    Unfortunately, the pockets in Newfoundland are only so deep, so you can't get everything you want. See ya at work after the back-to-work legislation comes down, nurses!

  • Nurse and proud of it
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Bashing the leader of the NLNU only shows how truly ignorant some people are. Debbie Forward has remained poised & focused on the issues throughout this whole process.......unlike the Premier & Mr. Kennedy. They have taken every opportunity to skirt around the issues & personally attack Ms. Forward. To those in other unions who had to accept the 20% (as one person here as commented), my comment is this: no one had to take the 20%. If I recall, your offer also went to a vote, with the other unions recommending to accept. That is NOT the fault of the nurses. Every union is different, each facing its own set of difficulties & challenges. Obviously the MA & EEL clauses were acceptable to your union body or it was not adequately explained to the members before acceptance. Either way, again, NOT the nurses problem. This contract is not acceptable to us, and it is our right to reject. Our union has made it very clear that we would accept the monetray offer & was agreeable to send the two outstanding clauses to binding arbitration. Yes, this is a gamble for both sides, but obviously a fair resolution to this dispute. Gov't has refused to negotiate & has forced our hand. I think some of those out there insistent on branding us as greedy take a step back & look at what they are asking us to give up in exchange for those extra $$$. Money talks....but not in this case!

  • jalen
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    I wish they'd just walk and get it over with. And then get down to business of finding a new union boss. One who after all the bawling can get more than 63 percent to side with her.

  • Phoebe Tilley
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    Sorry Debbie but there is no way to send a clear message to Dan and his Clone Jerome. Not once do any of them address the real issues they just dance and talk around it as usual. Then Ross NO CRISIS HERE Wiseman speaks only when Danny tells him its ok to speak. Then he can only say exactly as he is told to say. Then we wonder why Health care is in such a mess. With thes three at the top its not a big surprise at all.

  • RN78
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    to union member, this is about a principal. Something the Nurses Union believes in! The job is not held for the nurse, it would give someone the chance to reenter the work place for a position if ever deemed fit, not to a position tht is held as tat would be long gone. I believe the MA are union busting for the NLNU, when an employer has the right to give different benefits to individuals working side by side, it is unfair and will cause havoc in the workplace.
    The union has attempted to placate government but they are so inflexible they can not see the forest before the trees.

  • Frustrated
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    Everyone should be ashamed for bashing eachother out on these debates. I'm married to a nurse who voted to take the deal. In my opinion both sides are losing here. I voted for Danny in the election but he needs just trying to make a point by being stubborn. These two clauses are very important to some and not to others, it's just a matter of opinion.

    Nurses work hard, sure there are some who may not work as hard as they should, but in general they work hard long hours and they should be paid well for it. Most people would never work as a nurse if they actually had the chance to work at it for a few weeks. It's stressful, busy, disgusting, emotionally draining, and very important to patients recovering. They earn every dollar of their salary and they should be paid on par with Danny's offer. My wife had her hands inside someone's leg holding an artery to keep him from bleeding out/dying in her first year, tell that man she's not worth the extra $3-4 per hour. You'd be darn well happy to have a well paid nurse or doctor the next time you or your close family are in for an emergency. For the few sleeping nurses out there.....WAKE UP and do your job well so you don't make your co-workers look lazy.

    No one ever wants to strike and people who would bash fishermen for losing their livelyhood should also be ashamed. They worked hard for years and lost everything, put yourself in their place and don't be so heartless.

    Unions can be good or bad as always. Without them you could be making more or less. I tend to not like them anymore myself, as someone who studied labour market economics. Their original intent, in the 40's and 50's, was sound and needed because employees were slaves to their employers. Now everything is always grey, neither black nor white.

    As a new couple going into our 6th year of marriage, my wife and I are worried about the Healthcare system here in NL. After living in PEI for 3 years, although they few specialists, the healthcare system was much more efficient and less stressful. NL is having such a hard time with Healthcare.
    No matter what anyone thinks , the truth is that there are NOT enough doctors and nurses. They DO NOT want to come here from away; or at least most do not. (Why come her to start from scratch again with 30-40% less pay??) Hospitals are FILLED to capacity. Specialists are over-loaded with work and rare. (ie. 2 year waiting list to get an allergy test? comon!?) Facilities are dungy, out-of-date, using old technology from 20 years ago, etc.

    Make no wonder tests are being done wrong and everyone is ready to kill eachother over a few clauses in a contract. For a growing, prosperous, bright future province, why are we not investing in the infrastructure we need to get to the next level. We need better schools, more teachers, more doctors, more nurses, better facilities for all, more police....this are all things we should know from the very basics of starting/maintaining a growing city. Anyone ever played Sim City before? There are core fundamentals there. LOL.

    So what do we do, if it stays this bad we'll do what almost every young Newfoundlander does, move away for what?? (more money of course, how can you get your lives started on these salaries, should we live in a small apartment our whole lives or do we go somewhere where we can make a living/life for ourselves and our children to be? (if that's in the cards))

    Lets be real for once, anyone if they were a nurse would want more help because it's needed. Now if a young nursing student comes out of school in Canada and looks for somewhere to work, do they want to start here in NL making $22/hr and stressed to the max or would they go to Ontario or Alberta where the starting salary is $27-30/hr, there's better facilities to work in, a much higher salary cap, more benefits, and less it's less stressful because there is more staff. Why is there more staff??? Because the environment for life in general is so much better. No one is wrong for wanting more for their life/family; especially when it's needed.

    I'm talking from a Townie perspective too, I can't imagine being a nurse in central or a community outside of St. John's, they must be gone totally crazy. One of them was repremanded for not making sure the oil was delivered in the morning, what the hell? Comon?

    I don't care if you work in the cushy government building with me and all our sick days, personal days, annual leave, vacation days, holidays and breaks galore or if you worked in retail like I once did. If you were overrun with customers and long shifts you'd welcome extra pay and help like anyone else. If you're not making $22 dollars an hour starting off it's your fault not the nurses. Anyone who complains about someone else having the chance to do better for themselves is just jealous and self centered. I hope you never get really sick and have to be in the hospital in 4 or 5 years when all the great, devoted, kind , hard working, beautiful nurses and doctors who were once here are working out in the Praries somewhere and all that's left here are the few poor souls trying to keep it going till then can get out whenever they can and retire.

    While I was retraining, my wife paid off her $25,000 student loan in a little over two years while supporting me when I went back to school. Don't tell me she doesn't work hard and certainly don't tell a nurse face to face. Actually, yes do that, most would still treat you the same as the nicest person on their floor, with respect. I just hope you get the one who doesn't and well.....you know...shoves something up somewhere and.....

    Seriously, don't hate on people....it doesn't solve anything. Only the nurses really know how hard their job is so don't judge. When my wife was in food service her job was just as hard emotionally as it was some days being a nurse. Some days it was harder because she was only making min. wage so there was even less motivation, but she bettered herself and survived. No matter what anyone says, in any industry money is a motivator and it's needed otherwise most people would never work. That's why we all deserve a raise.

    So much government money gets wasted on so many things...in fact...these recent health care laws suits could have been, possibly, prevented if more money had been pumped into the healhcare infrastructure years ago. Instead we were building greenhouses to build cucumbers and numerous other get rich quick projects.


    PS. I don't know any school teachers personally, but, for those of you out there.....you deserve much more money and respect too.

    Peace.

  • matam
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Union member from St.John's... just so you know... the health boards are already posting the positions of injured nurses and have been doing it for quite some time already. We don't expect a position held. Just to be able to come back if the possibility arises. And not lose senority. It has happened in the past and why should a nurse who injured herself lifting a 250lb man while working and did so possibly because the workload was so high, lose everthing ? The workload of nurses today and ever since I began working is tremendous. And that has been for over 20 years. Injuries are inevitable because the government has not adequately provided the workplace with the amount of nurses it needs to have a safe environment. What's good for one union is not necessarily good for another.

  • concerned citizen
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Injured nurse ,there are many professions that are more dangerous than yours such as police officers,corrections officers,military personnel . I don't hear any of these groups whining and complaning like the nurses. Go ahead and strike and lose a months pay. Debbie Forward has led you for the last time when all the frustrated union members wforce her to resign a few months after a strike. The taxpayers of this province can smell greed!

  • Karon
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Does the public realize that while on extended medical leave these positions cannot be filled by another permanent nurse ...hence why there are so many casual positions ...... if you are off over 2 years due to medical maybe there should be some sort of retraining required to assist you in returning to work in some other area....you can't have it both ways ...long term leave and NON casual staff ... pick one !!!!

  • Debbie
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    How about Debbie Forward flight for her casual employees too? Why isn't she trying to get these workers permanent positions? New graduates are being offered up to $5000 to stay in NL, yet the nurses who graduated last year got $0 for taking casual positions with Eastern Health. Debbie Forward should also remember that casual nurses do not get paid for sick days. She can stick up for the nurses that are off for 2-3 years on paid leave but does not mention the poor casual's that miss 1 day of work and do not get paid for it. No wonder the public thinks nurses are greedy. The public is not getting the full story from the nurses leader.

  • Tara
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Nasty Nate from RN97- well you have quite a fitting name. i find your banter offensive and insulting- and dripping with ignorance. I have been a nurse for 12 years. I truly love and care for the people that i nurse- but I am tired. We work holidays, weekends, we give up days off, work through our lunch break, 12 hour shifts turn into 14,16 18 hours. Its not about the money it never was. Because you don't become a nurse to get rich- we don't make as much as you think- I am not greedy, or lazy and i am sick and tired of being treated as i am. I work short staffed, hunt for supplies I need, fix toilets, change light bulbs, throw out the trash, hold hands and dry tears. and these things you can not put a price on. Its about respect, having the resources that we need to do the best job we can- for the people we care for. I am intelligent, caring and compassionate- and university educated. If you had a negative experience concerning the practice of an RN that is unfortunate but that one does not represent every nurse. I hope you take good care of yourself- stay healthy- you would not want to get sick and have to rely nurses with such negative view about our profession. I don't want to strike- i don't want to walk out on the people I care for - but I am prepared to strike - not for money, or increased vacation. For respect , resources, and ensuring that i am the best nurse i can be. But I can not allow a man to tell me what I am worth-

  • Jim
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Looks like Debbie is losing the support of her nurses AND the public. If they go on strike, legislate them back to work at the original offer. Forget the perks of the extra salary level at the top and the elimiation of the levels at the bottom of
    the scale.
    Danny and Jerome have to stick to their guns on this one!!!

  • Beverly
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    Nasty Nate only Danny Castro Williams uses intimidation to get his way and influence people. Apparently it works on you just fine. Also Nasty you dont lie very well either. You sad story about growing up in a house with a parent who was not only a Physician but Chief of Staff at a Hospital. You Nasty my boy are so full of s h i t its starting to run out your ears. Sad life you live thank God you have to live it. Sounds like you still probably live at home with mommy and daddy anyway.