Manitoba signs COVID-19 pay deal with nurses union to shift staff to priority areas

The Manitoba government has signed a pay agreement that will allow nurses to be shifted to priority areas in the fight against COVID-19.

It says the agreement with the Manitoba Nurses Union will allow nurses to be redeployed in personal care homes, intensive care units and designated COVID-19 units.

Read more: Winnipeg hospitals still struggling with nursing shortage, high vacancy rates

Health Minister Cameron Friesen says it will allow for changes to work assignments, locations, schedules and shifts to support the changing needs of hospital patients and care home residents.

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He says nurses affected by these changes, including those already working in facilities dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks, will get extra pay.

Read more: Second health care worker dies from COVID-19 in Manitoba

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The agreement also establishes a COVID-19 northern allowance for staff redeployed to the north, as well as an allowance for current northern nurses who work in one community but pick up additional shifts elsewhere in the region.

Union president Darlene Jackson says the deal will help keep nurses on the job and give them some security and recognition.

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