Healthcare workers call on government to address staffing shortages

    Wednesday, 3 July 2024 08:10

    By Dean Clarke

    These workers are represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and have gathered over 1,400 signatures on a petition.

    NL Health Services support and service staff are calling on government to deal with recruitment and retention issues. These workers are represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and have gathered over 1,400 signatures on a petition. CUPE NL President Sherry Hillier says last year, government met with several health care unions and offered one time wage increases and this group is feeling left out.
    Hillier says the next step for these CUPE workers is to see what government does with the petition.Melissa Osmond is a housekeeper working at Corner Brook Long Term Care Centre. In a news release she is quoted as saying, “The simple truth is that we don’t get paid well and people are leaving to find better pay elsewhere,” The sole provider of two special needs children says she  “shouldn’t have to make decisions between groceries and paying my bills while working full-time,”  but she is. CUPE  had set Friday as a deadline to hear back from government about the petition.

    Meanwhile, on Friday, government reinstated a recruitment and retention incentive for retired registered nurses and nurse practitioners seeking to return to work  at Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services. Those who meet license requirements are eligible for reimbursement of fees up to $500 with a return in service commitment of 390 hours per year. The incentive is available until March 31, 2025. In 2022, close to 230 retired nurses availed of the incentive to return to the workforce. Signing bonuses are also available for selected nursing positions that target difficult-to-fill positions and address geographic considerations, as well as incentives for nurses to work in long-term care and family care teams. More than 520 nurses have been hired by NL Health Services since April 2023.

    To report an error, submit a news tip, or provide feedback, please e-mail news@bayfm.ca or call (709) 637-0183.

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