Settlement in line wth other public sector contracts negotiated with the province in the current round of bargaining.
St. John's (21 May 2009) - A province-wide strike by the Newfoundland and Laborador Nurses' Union (NLNU) has been averted following the negotiation of a last-minute tentative agreement with the government.
The union says the proposed four-year deal, which must be ratified by more than 5,000 nurses across the province, will raise salaries dramatically. It includes an increase of 21.5% — in line with earlier public sector settlements – plus hikes for starting and top salary scales.
The nurses had been scheduled to strike on Wednesday.
"It was the crunch time," union president Debbie Forward said. "[We] were able to achieve something that both sides are satisfied with and we can recommend."
The nurses won a concession from the government on what is described as market adjustment, one of the two issues that remained unresolved for months. Instead of being able to hire a nurse at a higher wage than colleagues doing the same work in hard-to-fill jobs, the government will instead be able to pay bonuses.
On the other hand, their negotiators have agreed to a second clause that the government has been seeking. It will mean that an injured nurse can lose his or her job two years after being deemed permanently disabled.
"That compromise [of accepting the injured worker clause] was made in exchange for the new market adjustment language," Forward told reporters.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE