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Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union re-elects long-standing president

By Joe Thomson Apr 27, 2023 | 11:41 AM

The Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union has re-elected their president who has held the position for over 20 years.

Janet Hazelton will serve in the role for another two years. She is grateful for the trust that nurses placed in her.

“It certainly demonstrates that the nurses in this province are continuing to support me in my leadership and my goals for this organization and for the nurses that I represent,” said Hazelton.

The union is currently in negotiations with its employer and Hazelton is confident that the two sides will work out a deal without any issues.

“I believe, and I trust, that our employer is listening to us, and they are understanding our concerns, and that they legitimately know that they have to help us,” said Hazelton.

Top-of-mind for the nurses’ union right now is the lack of time-off that nurses currently have, as well as the high amount of overtime hours that nurses are asked to work. These problems all come down to a lack of staffing, which the province has tried to address by using travel nurses.

Travel nurses fill temporary roles in high-need areas and can support regions that have staffing shortages, like the one Nova Scotia is experiencing. However, they don’t always have the same responsibilities as full-time nurses.

“They’re getting paid much more than the [full-time] nurses and they don’t have the same responsibility as them. So that’s a frustration for our nurses,” said Hazelton.

“They understand why travel nurses are here, but they would like to also understand what their responsibility is. What is their accountability to Nova Scotia and to the Health Authority?”

Hazelton says that they are working to address these issues in the current negotiations with their employer.

She enjoys fighting for the rights of nurses and says she will continue to do over the next two years of  her term. As for how long she’ll continue to hold the position, Hazelton said she’ll take it one step at a time.

“Every two years I reevaluate if I’m still bringing value to this organization, value to the nurses I represent. I talk to my family, and they think about it, and I just take it two years at a time,” said Hazelton.


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