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NSNU President Janet Hazleton spoke with reported following the province's announcement of a $10,000 bonus for nurses. Photo: NSNU

Nurses Union welcomes $10K bonus but says permanent wage increases are needed

By Evan Taylor Mar 20, 2023 | 3:48 PM

The Nova Scotia Nurses Union (NSNU) has responded to Premier Tim Houston’s announcement that nurses around the province will be receiving a $10,000 bonus this year.

In a statement the NSNU says they welcome the bonus but want to see permanent changes made to improve the working conditions of nurses.

NSNU President, Janet Hazelton says that the one-time payment of $10,000 for fulltime nurses (LPNs, RNs, NPs) with another $10,000 incentive next year to nurses who commit to staying in the system for another two years, acknowledges the hardships nurses endured long before COVID-19 but made worse by the pandemic. However, Hazelton emphasises more must be done to retain nurses.

“Money is part of a multi-pronged approach to keeping nurses on the job, in our public healthcare system. We must restore work-life balance, ensure nurses are not working short and are not working an excessive amount of overtime,” notes Hazelton.

The NSNU expects the news will be well received by many of their members, though some will want renumeration well beyond what the Premier offered today.

“In addition to this announcement, it’s vital to achieve wage increases during negotiations, an economic adjustment that keeps Nova Scotia competitive in the long-term. Nurses deserve respect and today’s financial infusion in combination with other retention initiatives,” adds Hazelton.

The NSNU is in the process of gearing up for negotiations with the province on new contract, with their previous contract having expired in 2020.



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