On behalf of the PEINU Negotiation Committee, I am incredibly pleased to share that the PEI Nurses’ Union has reached a tentative agreement with Health PEI.
This was a lengthy collective bargaining process and we put in a tremendous amount of work over the last 18 months. Both parties were keenly aware of the importance of getting the new agreement finalized before the summer and we made great strides since we were able to get back to the table.
At the end of the day, we all know that a strong, productive nursing workforce is the foundation for a strong, productive healthcare system … so even though we did not always see eye-to-eye about how we should get to the finish line, we had many shared priorities in this round of bargaining.
We need to respect & retain our members and we need to recruit more Registered Nurses (RNs) & Nurse Practitioners (NPs) to come to work in PEI.
Workforce Stabilization was a key priority for both parties and we knew that it would require a mutual commitment to ensure that we can achieve a more productive, efficient, and healthy workplace.
Knowing that the career opportunities for nurses (both within Health PEI & off island) are so plentiful, we wanted to emphasize the value of retaining experienced RNs & NPs and providing a commitment to work with Health PEI. We also wanted our employer to recognize the additional challenges of working in certain units and positions; for nurses to see tangible benefits to working in services that require them to work rotating shifts and be on-call after hours. We believe that this agreement fulfills the mandate that our members asked us to achieve, and we are excited to be able to finally be able to share the details with our members.
We think this agreement will give our members some good reasons to make a commitment to work with Health PEI as Permanent Employees, to work in Full-Time positions, and to work in 24/7 and on-call services too. This agreement also provides much needed recognition of Employees’ prior years of experience working as RNs, and will make our Nurse Practitioners among the highest paid (if not the highest paid) in Canada. We hope that this agreement will assist Health PEI in their ongoing recruitment efforts – for both new graduates & experienced RNs & NPs – and alleviate some of the burden of short-staffing that has been placed on our members shoulders. Finally, we are looking forward to working with Health PEI to implement the longer-term initiatives that we have committed to during the life of this agreement that we know will continue to improve our workplaces, our work-life balance, and our ability to provide safe, quality healthcare to Islanders.Highlights of the Tentative Agreement (as well as the dates of the upcoming Information Sessions for PEINU Members) will be provided to our membership on Friday, May 5th.