Most nurses ratify new 4-year contract, except those working at Manitoba’s largest hospital

Nurses in Manitoba have ratified a new four-year contract — except for those who work at the province’s largest hospital and in other provincial programs.

The Manitoba Nurses Union, which represents more than 12,000 nurses in the province, announced in a late Friday memo to members that the new contract was ratified by members at the Winnipeg, Southern, Interlake-Eastern, Northern and Prairie Mountain regional health authorities.

However, the contract was not ratified by the 3,400 nurses working at Shared Health, where 57 per cent of the members who voted rejected the deal.

Shared Health, which co-ordinates health-care service delivery and planning across the province, oversees the Health Sciences Centre and other provincial programs.

In the memo to members, the union said it would provide information to members employed by Shared Health about next steps, “with respect to continued negotiation with the employer or potential strike vote and job action.” 

Union recommended deal

The union’s bargaining committee had recommended that members ratify the contract, MNU told its members earlier this month. Members voted on Thursday and Friday.

Across the province, just under 10,000 nurses voted on the deal, for a turnout of 74 per cent. The overall ratification rate was 51.2 per cent, although that number climbed as high as 72.6 per cent in the Northern Health Region.

The union said in an email to CBC News the voting breakdown was: 

  Total number of voters Accept Reject
Interlake-Eastern 611/824 51.39% 48.61%
Northern Health 325/444 72.62% 27.38%
Prairie Mountain Health 1467/1970 54.87% 45.13%
Shared Health 2626/3411 43.03% 56.97%
Southern Health  828/1156 61.47% 38.53%
Winnipeg Regional Health Authority 4137/5699 51.39% 48.61%





All other public-sector nurses have agreed to a contract with a 2.5 per cent general wage increase starting April 1, 2024, a 2.75 per cent increase for 2025, and a three per cent increase each for 2026 and 2027.

The collective bargaining agreement included additional payments for full-time nurses, and part-time and casual nurses who work up to full-time hours. They will receive a $12,000 per year incentive that takes effect April of next year, once the existing COVID-19 incentive lapses.

The incentive will be a two-year trial and would be continued for at least the remainder of the contract if it results in decreased overtime hours and reliance on private agency nurses.

There are also hourly premiums ranging from $2 to $4 an hour for nurses who work in intensive care, emergency departments, urgent care facilities and are assigned triage duties.

Licensed practical nurses will also get market adjustments of three per cent as of April 1, 2024, and one per cent each for 2025 and 2026. All classifications of nurses would get a one per cent market adjustment this year.

MNU’s last contract, a seven-year agreement, expired on March 31. The union reached a tentative agreement with employers just weeks later, which MNU says was achieved in record time.