Yvonne Jones, Opposition Critic for Health and Community Services and MHA
for the District of Cartwright - L’Anse au Clair, says government’s
treatment of public sector unions over the past 18 months has been
unacceptable and she hopes that things improve in future negotiations.
Finance Minister has recently given notice to the nurses union that
government wishes to return to the bargaining table to replace their current
contract. "Nurses are concerned that this government will attempt to force
concessions from them as they did last year when benefits were stripped from
NAPE and CUPE though the imposition of a legislated contract," said Jones.
"When the members of the nurses union look at how NAPE and CUPE members
were treated by this government last year, they have good reason to worry.
There has been no indication by the government that their negotiation
tactics will be any different this time around, something that is of concern
to nurses. I urge nurses in the province to remain firm in their resolve and
not accept any heavy-handed negotiating tactics from the Premier or his
"The financial situation in which this government finds itself is
drastically different than the one it used to justify its tactics in
previous negotiations. The government now has new sources of revenue in the
form of increased health care funding from Ottawa and the $2 billion revenue
sharing agreement negotiated earlier this year. In this context, there is no
reason why the Premier and Finance Minister should strong-arm the nurses
"Public sector workers in the province should not be expected to accept
concessions during negotiations. I will be keeping a close watch to ensure
that government treats nurses, teachers, and other workers in this province