WINNIPEG – Today, the Manitoba government of Premier Heather Stefanson delivered its first Throne Speech, which included specific commitments that touched on nursing issues in our province, but ones that continue to fall short.
Any nurse seeking employment with adequate qualifications is already employed. What we need now is realistic and meaningful action to retain and recruit additional nurses. We need a plan to fill the many vacancies and we need an injection of work/life balance to those who already hold positions.
We need provincial leadership that sees a future for Manitoba that includes adequate health care. We need to think about how we can stand out against other provinces and countries. If we are not prepared to provide nurses some level of control, if we do not acknowledge the need to retain senior nurses, we will remain where we’re at.
Manitoba is in the midst of a critical nursing shortage. When nurses have reached intolerable levels of exhaustion, they will simply leave – and already are leaving. In today’s market, nurses are extremely valuable, and they need to be treated accordingly.
Additionally, while Premier Stefanson references our MNU Pledge that she signed back in September, we respectfully remind her that the Pledge included the following, which remain unfulfilled:
- To acknowledge that Manitoba is experiencing a critical nursing shortage;
- To improve working conditions for nurses across Manitoba;
- To provide information in a timely, open and transparent manner to the Manitoba Nurses Union;
- To be more open and honest with the Manitoba Nurses Union and the public about the situation nursing is in, including providing staffing statistics and data for all health regions in the province;
- To improve nurse recruitment potential by making Manitoba a more attractive jurisdiction in which to practice nursing;
- To do everything possible, as Premier of Manitoba, to repair the relationship between this provincial government and nurses, and to allocate the resources needed to stabilize the nursing situation in Manitoba.
This week via our MNU social media channels, we are highlighting specific situations affecting nurses across Manitoba, including working short-staffed, burn out and workplace violence.
As it stands right now, today’s announcements are only window dressing. We need more.
MNU represents more than 12,000 nurses of all designations from across Manitoba.
– 30 –