HSC nurses ratify new deal, avoid strike

Nurses working at Manitoba’s largest hospital have avoided a potential labour disruption.

According to the Manitoba Nurses Union (MNU), around 3,400 Shared Health nurses – many of whom work at Health Sciences Centre (HSC) – have ratified a new four-year contract.

Darlene Jackson, MNU’s president, said 77.1 per cent of members voted in favour of the deal. Monday’s result is a significant jump from the last union vote in May – when only 43 per cent of Shared Health nurses voted in favour.

“For a lot of members, the thought of going on strike wasn’t something they wanted to do,” Jackson told CTV News. “They needed to make a point. They needed to let government know this was not an agreement they were happy with.”

The new contract was previously ratified by members in the province’s five other health regions. It includes a 2.5 per cent general wage increase retroactive to April, a 2.75 per cent increase for 2025, and three per cent increases over the following two years.

Jackson said this round of bargaining focused on non-monetary issues like safety at health-care facilities, as well as balanced nurse-to-patient ratios.

“Evidence shows that nurse-patient ratios not only provide an avenue for much safer patient care,” Jackson explained, adding ratios also help prevent nurses from being overworked.

Jackson said the fight to improve working conditions for nurses is far from over.

“But I have a sense of relief in that there will be no disruption in patient care, and no disruption in salary for some of our members,” she said. “But it just makes me know I need to fight harder and we need to really push, push, push on those issues.”

CTV News has reached out to Shared Health for comment.

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