Thursday 6 March 2008

Don't get sick: strike looming

There was an odd little article in the Freep today:

The province issued a warning to doctors and hospitals this week to do what they can to reduce the number of patients in beds or requiring surgery in the event contact talks with Manitoba nurses break down ... as a precaution to ensure patient safety.

You can do your part too: if you were planning a heart attack or brain aneurism for next week, you might want to post pone it ... to ensure your safety.

So what's with this work action? Is this just a natural part of the nurses union's four-year menstral cycle? Actually ... it's all about the money:

Maureen Hancharyk, president of the Manitoba Nurses Union, said the province is not offering nurses a competitive wage and new graduates are being swayed by higher pay and better benefits from other provinces like Saskatchewan.


Terry Goertzen, assistant deputy minister for Manitoba Health workforce, said the province has offered nurses a 9.6 per cent pay increase over two years and that Manitoba nurses have the fourth highest wages in the country. Hancharyk said that's not competitive enough and that Manitoba nurses are actually sixth in the country in terms of pay [link]
What? A raise of only twice the rate of inflation? That's not right ... And gosh darnit, our nurses deserve to be the highest paid in the country, even if our cost of living is higher than only 3 other provinces.

I don't know if you picked up on the sarcasm or not, but what I'm trying to say is our health care expenses are spiraling out of control (at what, 40+% of the provincial budget now? I'm too lazy to look it up) and over-paying our nurses isn't helping. What might help is not spending money on crap like this:


But what about the staff shortage, and our poor over-worked nurses? I'll leave it to the Black Rod to explain that one.

h/t: PITT


Unapologetic Ex-Winnipegger said...

I'm sure all of the thousands of people losing their jobs nationwide can sympathize with this "paltry" increase.

cherenkov said...

Those people weren't smart enough to get a job in a union for a government monopoly, obviously. Survival of the fittest, man.

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