We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 49th MNU AGM at the Fairmont Hotel in Winnipeg on May 7 and 8, 2024. 

Presidents are required to register all voting delegates and observers after respective Worksite/Local AGMs. Members who are interested in attending should contact their Worksite/Local. To look up your Worksite/Local, please use the LRO & Local Locator on the MNU website. 

Presidents received their information package last week, with registration to be completed by March 31, 2024.

Regarding the Worksite/Local AGMs, I was pleased to attend the first one, which this year was Donwood Nurses Worksite 155. As you can see from our photo, it was a splendid meeting. I love being able to connect with members, deliver Provincial greets and observe the meeting.

As a friendly reminder for Worksites and Locals holding their AGMs and elections, please remember to notify your Employer of the members that make up your newly elected Executive. 

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Changing gears, last Thursday, I was invited by the Federal government to attend the signing of the new bilateral healthcare deal between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew. This agreement provides Manitoba with $434 million of federal funding for a three-year action plan to bolstering the workforce, including the hiring of 300 more nurses. Under a separate agreement, a further $199 million will fund Manitoba’s five-year Aging with Dignity agreement to expand home, community and long-term care for seniors.

Manitoba's deal with Ottawa is the seventh one to be signed, as British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and the Northwest Territories have already done so.

MNU had been calling on the current and previous Manitoba governments to sign the bilateral deal, so we welcome both announcements as positive steps in addressing the nurse staffing crisis.  

According to the Winnipeg Free Press, Manitoba’s plan states that by March 31, 2026, the province should have reduced ER wait times for a doctor assessment from 6.6 hours (90th percentile) to 3.9 hours and reduce the average hospital stay from 13.1 days to 11.1 days for all patients.

Its provincial nurse float pool must also be expanded to 400 nurses from 113, and the provincial government has a target to add 200 new doctors and 150 new nurses by the 2025-26 fiscal year while keeping surgical volumes at pre-pandemic levels. The plan also calls for at least 150 staffed hospital beds to be added to the system and for spinal and orthopedic surgery programs to be expanded.

They also reported that Health Minister Uzoma Asagwara said the government is setting aggressive targets and hopes to surpass what is laid out in the action plan.

However, we are not slowing down when it comes to advocating for the improvement of our healthcare system provincially and nationally.

During the first week of February, I attended meetings of the National Executive Board of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) where we held a one-day strategic planning session to plan for the next five years. There was lots of good discussion and sharing of information amongst NEB with regards to staffing challenges, private agency usage, nurse patient ratios, and upcoming AGMs.

Viewpoints Research conducted a national survey with CFNU members from January 15th to February 5th and I was thrilled to hear that they easily filled the MNU number they needed for the survey. A big thank you to all who took the time to participate!

Work on the research project on the use of agency nurses continues. The report is anticipated to be ready prior to Council of the Federations (CoF) in July and will undoubtedly be included in our education at the Premiers breakfast at CoF.

And finally, plans are underway for our CFNU Biennial convention, which will be held in beautiful Niagara Falls in June of 2025.