A group of urgent care nurses want to know why they are not eligible for a COVID-19 salary increase that emergency department nurses qualify for.
Dozens of urgent care nurses signed a letter asking for clarification on why they have the same training, but are not eligible for the $ 6-an-hour pandemic premium.
The letter signed by nurses from Seven Oaks, Concordia and Victoria Urgent Care says: “We are perplexed by how we have been underestimated and looked down upon during the pandemic as we functioned as an emergency room while staffed by UC.”
They state in the letter that they cared for COVID patients on a daily basis without the luxury of additional staff and that they often faced a lack of breaks and had to work voluntary and mandatory overtime.
“During this time, we also experienced an increase in the homeless and vulnerable population who were COVID-positive and had nowhere to isolate themselves,” the letter reads.
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Manitoba PND leader Wab Kinew is supporting the nurses.
“The financial incentive is actually an important political tool that we have. Unfortunately, the PC government is too cheap to use, ”Kinew said.
“And the result is that our health care system will be weaker than it should be when we need it most.”
Kinew says concerns about a fourth wave mean hospital staffing should be the province’s top priority.
Shared Health says a significant movement of nursing resources was required during the second and third waves to expand the number of ICU beds at HSC, St. Boniface Hospital, Grace Hospital and Brandon Regional Health Center.
“These four EDs were directly affected and redeployment and reallocation were required to support these efforts,” the statement read.
“The premium, provided to nurses reassigned, reassigned or working in these four EDs, reflects the specific impact caused by the significant movement of nursing resources within these facilities to support critical care.”
Shared Health also says that negotiation with the Manitoba Nurses Union continues through a mediation process. The nurses have been without a contract for four years.
“While significant progress has already been made, we hope to resolve the rest of the pending proposals, which include retroactive general salary increases and other monetary proposals, along with additional measures to support recruitment and retention and improve work balance. and personal life. “
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