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40 Winnipeg nurses to lose their jobs at Victoria Hospital as of Friday: Union

The Winnipeg health care system is feeling maximum pressure due to a combination of a heavier-than-normal flu season and nurse staffing shortages.
The Winnipeg health care system is feeling maximum pressure due to a combination of a heavier-than-normal flu season and nurse staffing shortages. Global News / File

The Manitoba Nurses’ Union said 40 nurses will be out of a job Oct 20. The nurses, all from Victoria General Hospital, will be laid off from their jobs this week and will need to seek new positions.

RELATED: Hundreds of Winnipeg nurses learn how jobs will be impacted in healthcare overhaul

Nurses Union president Sandi Mowatt said Tuesday that the Victoria Hospital nurses in question had already gone through the application process initiated when the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority re-structuring began, but were not successful in finding new positions at VGH.  As their permanent positions come to an end, the nurses will be given re-deployment numbers to use in applying for positions at other hospitals.

“They have gone through the whole position selection, applied for vacancies, gone as far as they could there,” Mowatt said. “So now they will have to look for positions elsewhere.”

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Mowatt added that even though the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority announced the creation of 50 new nursing positions at St. Boniface Hospital, there are no guarantees for the Victoria nurses. The changes announced Oct. 17 are expected to affect the shifting and schedules of some 1,000 nurses at St. Boniface.

“The thing about St. Boniface is they are early in the process. We still have to go through the selection process there and that takes us into the new year”. Mowatt added that some of the nurses might not want to go to St. Boniface only to potentially end up being bumped or deleted yet again.

“We have 40 highly trained, highly skilled nurses who are ready to work and help take care of patients so I think we should be making sure they get a job,” said  Mowatt.

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A WRHA spokesperson told Global News that the laid off nurses could be recalled, will be given preference for future positions and will have first choice of any pick-up shifts that open up at the newly structured Victoria Urgent Care Centre.

“We are committed to working with nurses and are confident that there will be a job opportunity for every nurse who wishes to continue to work in the WRHA, ” the spokeperson said.