Winnipeg health care worker worried about jobs security amid budget cut talks

Winnipeg health care worker worried about jobs security amid budget cut talks

WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg hospital support worker isn’t convinced her job is safe despite promises by the provincial government that budget cuts won’t impact front line jobs.

“The morale’s down. Yesterday I just had a member say to me, ‘I just bought a house I have a mortgage. How am I going to pay my mortgage?’” said Debbie Boissonneault, a support worker for 17 years.

RELATED: Manitoba government set to release 2017 budget in April

The province has directed all departments including health to eliminate 15 per cent of management positions and has told the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to cut their annual budget by three per cent or $83 million.

READ MORE: WRHA told to cut spending by more than $80 M

Boissonneault said her coworkers don’t think there’s any way to meet those budgetary targets without some front line jobs being lost.

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“People are worried about losing their jobs. They don’t believe the $83 million they’re hearing will be cut will be just management,” she said.

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The Premier has repeatedly promised not to cut any front line positions, like Boissonneault’s, despite the ambitious fiscal goals.

However there has been no indication yet about how the province plans to achieve those goals which has led to rumours circulating about privatization and the closure of emergency departments, according to Boissonneault.

RELATED: Province pays off large portion of $118k bill for Manitoba man treated in U.S. hospital

Ultimately she believes if there are front line cuts the patients she interacts with will feel them.

“I like to kid with my patients and laugh with them because laughter is good medicine. But I find if those cuts come it’s going to be a lot on the patients, they lose, they lose that personal touch,” she said.