Nurses rally against proposed cuts

Andrew Robinson
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Almost 200 gather in front of Confederation Building

More than 200 nurses rallied at Confederation Building Thursday afternoon against a reduction in nurses at Central Health facilities. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

Nurses who gathered on the steps of Confederation Building in St. John’s Thursday were emphatic about what would result from a reduction in registered nurse positions at Central Health facilities.

“Registered nurses equals safe patient care,” chanted the crowd of approximately 200.

They arrived in five packed buses from the Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses’ Union’s (NLNU) biennial convention, taking place this week in St. John’s.

“They are taking a registered nurse off of night shift in acute care, which has a 24-hour emergency clinic plus nine holding beds in our area,” said Brenda Dicks, a registered nurse in Springdale.

“We need to let the public know that this is not safe patient care. How can this model of care improve our health-care system? Shame on Central Health.”

NLNU president Debbie Forward said the health authority is going from “site to site to site announcing reductions in registered nursing care.”


She said announcements have been made in Harbour Breton, Botwood, Brookfield, Baie Verte, Lewisporte, Twillingate and Fogo. Forward also mentioned Carmelite House in Grand Falls-Windsor and Lakeside Homes in Gander.

“It is disgraceful that employers can think you can take registered nurses out of the system, have just one registered nurse working a night shift caring for long-term care residents, caring for inpatients, and looking after the emergency department, that it will not negatively impact patient care. Well we know as registered nurses that it will.”

Canadian Federation of Nurses’ Unions president Linda Silas said patient care should not be allowed to suffer through the use of Band-Aid solutions.

“We know research says that our long-term care sector is the worst staffed, especially in the middle of the night, and that’s where (Central Health) is imposing cuts.

“Our seniors, our parents and grandparents, that’s their home. It is not a warehouse for seniors.”

Liberal health critic Andrew Parsons worries how the changes could affect the recruitment and retention of physicians in the region.

He called the registered nurses the backbone of health care.

“There’s one word for this, and it’s ‘unacceptable,’” said the MHA for Burgeo-La Poile.

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael had a word of her own to describe the matter, noting she had heard no discussions in the government about reducing the number of registered nurses working in the system.

“It’s bullshit. They’re trying to mask the truth with bullshit. Well, it’s over. You’re telling them it’s bullshit, and you’re looking for the truth.”

The group later moved to St. John’s International Airport, where they joined striking workers in a show of support for their cause.

Twitter: @TeleAndrew


Organizations: Confederation Building, Band-Aid, Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses Carmelite House Federation of Nurses Unions MHA for Burgeo-La Poile.NDP Leader International Airport

Geographic location: Springdale, Harbour Breton, Baie Verte Grand Falls-Windsor Gander

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • Nancy Gilbert
    November 09, 2012 - 17:03

    Dear John...please don't equate an LVN and PCA with an RN.

  • Tim Lane
    November 09, 2012 - 14:23

    I've never seen so many people complain as I have since I moved to NL. People on here hiding behind some fake name saying things they would never say in public. I'm sorry that you make $10 an hour or you don't work at all, but why go after people who did 4 years of university and are staying paying back $10000+ in student loans. I'm not a nurse but I know them and I know how hard they work. They wash and clean people and do things that would make a normal person urge. They come home with injuries from a senile patient attacking them. They do most of the work in helping a patient, as there is a huge lack of doctors in this province. Typical NL feel bad for me attitude!

    • FL Newfie
      November 09, 2012 - 15:49

      Proverbial lobsters in the pot, Tim. That's why I left and don't plan on returning. Newfies are the nicest people on the planet - except between themselves. Everywhere else on the planet people congratulate you on achievement and self prosperity. In Newfoundland all you get is viral resentment and the whole "woe is me" attitude. Sad thing, really.

    November 09, 2012 - 11:39

    You people bad mouthing these nurses have obviously never been in hospital for an extended stay with anything serious wrong with you. How come people have simpathy for the teachers union every time they cry and whine and never give nurses the repsect they deserve. The lifeblood of a well run hospital (other than Doctors) is aqequate numbers of RN's. An LPN simply cannot perform all the tasks of a RN.

  • K
    November 09, 2012 - 10:28

    My My My all the complaints. Glad they are not on strike. First they are stating rhat for one RN to possibly take care of a heavy patient can cause injury too both parties. Etc. As far as frying eggs ,clean toiletsetc. Not all have maids,I believe their stand was for the patients also. As far as the Brad who has seen it all. Guess he was a guest at the hospital to see all(nothing better to do. I stayed at the hospital for over a week . Some patients call ed for a nurse at least 10times. They answered for the same question Poor patient had dementia. I recieved good care, and free smikes.As far as 45 minutes to Tims. I guess Brad is of the belief he or friend is only patient. I AM NOT a NURSE

    • Brad
      November 09, 2012 - 11:03

      Whoa, where did I say I have seen it all? I'm merely stating some observances that I have seen whilst at the hospital visiting friends and family. I've also had relatives work as a nurse (gasp!) and they complain of some of the things I mentioned and more. Guess what? They got promoted to management positions. Says something I'd think..

  • crista
    November 09, 2012 - 09:53

    you got a bill 29 government that cares about nothing but what????what are they getting paid for???? to get on the news and say what, movie stars???? take a family out of 700.00 apt and put them in 1700.00 home one case???? now the down size of the rn's bring in experts and try to cover up mental health system???? and then get there fools to defend and it is all right what is beening done,what do that tell you ???? now in your own words look at who is doing this take a child out of a family home and put her in the janeway???? and the nurses are complaining about not having enough help???? then you read muskrat falls going a head????... you do not know what it tells you some thing is not right???? so if some thing is not right what's the problem????

  • Health care worker
    November 09, 2012 - 09:30

    Why in the world do nurses think they are the only ones who are needed in Healy care,of all the cut backs dietary and house keeping are the ones who lose their jobs when it comes down to the crunch do you think for a minute that a nurse will clean a toilet,fry an egg I don,t thnk so.How about all the others who help take care of patients like hospital support,which are your cleaners,dietary,electricians,plumbers,lab techs,Xray techs,medical records the list goes on,now ask them how many Xmas stockings they knit during the Hoilday season at work,ask them how many orders they take from the whole ward for Tim Hortons coffee then 2 nurses have to leave for 45 minutes to go get it.Debbie Forward time you realize that the poor nurses are not as over worked as they seem.Also come on government start treating employees of Nl and Labrador with the same fairness they deserve not just the Healthcare employees and the whining nurses but also the poor ones making $10.00 an hour what a joke try and make a go on making that.

  • Brad
    November 09, 2012 - 08:02

    Dear Nurses: Maybe people would have more respect for your profession if you were not: - Texting on your phone/on personal phone calls while at work - Chatting to your fellow co-workers at the desk while some patients are in need of care - Napping on the job - Snooping through others files Those are just some of the things I have seen in recent vists to the Health Sciences Centre. Signed, The people of NL

  • Nancy Gilbert
    November 09, 2012 - 06:57

    How can 1 RN perform CPR? Prevent a fall? Be in 3 places at once? Turn a patient? I am a Newfoundland nurse working in Texas...during the holidays when our census drops the unit must always have 2 nurses, even if there is one patient. Not only is it an unsafe working environment, it is unsafe for the patient...even if there is only one.

    • John Light
      November 09, 2012 - 07:41

      Your comments aren't exactly valid. I agree about the health care cuts being wrong but please post relevant information. "How can 1 RN perform CPR?" - RN or LPN. "Prevent a fall?" - RN, LPN or PCA role. "Turn a patient?" - RN, LPN or PCA role.

  • Flexxa
    November 09, 2012 - 06:42 lack of energy or enthusiasm when it comes to "protesting!"