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PCs Must Reveal and Settle Workplace Grievances at HSC to Keep Workers, Patients Safe

January 3, 2020

WINNIPEG - The PC Government and Minister of Health need to be open and honest with Manitobans about the workplace grievances at the Health Sciences Centre (HSC) that have the Manitoba Nurses Union (MNU) warning nurses against starting work there.

HSC is Manitoba's largest hospital and trauma centre. It not only serves Winnipeg, but all of Manitoba and parts of Saskatchewan, Nunavut, North-West Ontario and U.S. States.

The Manitoba Nurses Union is considering "grey-listing" the Health Sciences Centre. This basically means telling nurses looking for work to avoid the HSC - at a time when the province is short of nurses.

Dougald Lamont, MLA for St. Boniface and Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party said this is just the latest example of the PCs bungling in the health system.

"The PCs treatment of nurses has been abysmal - they have been laid off, forced to work 20 hour shifts, and whenever they raise a legitimate complaint, the Health Minister implies they aren't telling the truth," said Lamont. "For the sake of patients and nurses alike, the PCs need to be open and transparent about what is happening at HSC and address the issue because it is real and it is serious."

Since being elected in 2016, the PCs eliminated teams of nurses at HSC who specialized in giving patients IVs as well as lactation consultants. New disruptive shifts were introduced without consultation along with mandatory overtime, which has resulted in burnout and some nurses working up to 20 hours.

The PCs inaction on the meth crisis has also had a direct impact on the safety of nurses and health care workers who have seen a dramatic rise in assaults at work.

The PCs are making a fundamental mistake by treating health care as a production line in which nurses and other workers are being treated as disposable and interchangeable, and time spent caring for patients is supposed to be minimized," said Lamont. "We should have a health care system run by health care providers for patients, and what we're getting is health care run by KPMG in the best interests of themselves."


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