For Immediate Release
28 September, 2023
NDP Leader, Jim Dinn (St. John’s Centre), is calling on the Provincial Government to focus its resources on retaining healthcare professionals, listen to what they are saying, and address deficits in the healthcare system rather than engaging in wasteful and unnecessary chest thumping exercises. Dinn says he believes through his conversation with nurses that the lack of respect from the employer, persistent workplace violence, overreliance on private agency nurses, and the inability to convince healthcare workers that the decades of disrespect from the Provincial Government that is fueling the exodus of local workers from healthcare will change.
“Saskatchewan is only recruiting in this province because they have indication that healthcare workers in this province are looking to work in a system where they are respected by their employer, and that’s not Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Dinn. “If the Minister of Health was certain that this province was a favourable place to live his response to Saskatchewan would have been ‘Go ahead, try it. Our healthcare workers are here to stay’,” said Dinn. “While it’s quaint that the Minister of Health has entered into this tit-for-tat sandbox squabble with another province – it’s a waste of government resources being used to distract from the reality that this government is failing to retain workers and show them that Newfoundland and Labrador is a favourable place to work in healthcare.”
Dinn warned the Government that international recruitment efforts would be a fool’s errand if the province failed to focus on the retention issues that were causing healthcare workers to leave their profession, move to private travel nurse agencies, or leave the province. The new collective agreement ratified by registered nurses on August 4th is not in effect and Dinn says this is another gesture in bad faith.
“Recruiting internationally while workplace violence continues, and private agency nurses are also being brought in with preferred treatment sends the signal to freshly recruited nurses that this is not the province where you’ll be respected for your work,” said Dinn. “There are steps the government can take to re-build trust with healthcare professionals in this province like putting the collective agreement ratified almost two months ago by registered nurses is put in place -- it’s the least the government can do.”
Media Contact: Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, 709.729.2137