Province, nurses union reach tentative deal on contract extension
2-year extension includes salary increase, changes to group insurance in retirement
The provincial government and the Registered Nurses' Union of Newfoundland and Labrador have reached a tentative agreement on a contract extension.
The tentative agreement extends the union's current collective agreement for another two years, and will remain unchanged, with the exception of a salary increase and changes to benefits upon retirement.
In an email to CBC News, the union said current employees as of March 31 who qualify for group insurance in retirement will continue to share the cost of premiums 50-50. When it comes time for retirement, new nurses hired after March 31 will pay 60 per cent of premiums, with the employer taking on the other 40.
Previously, new hires fell under five different tiers of insurance premiums, based on pensionable time.
Union president Debbie Forward said she is pleased with the tentative agreement.
"We believe this agreement is the best option for our members and we are recommending acceptance," Forward said.
"Extending our contract will provide stability for our members, as well as our patients and the health-care system in very uncertain times."
Health Minister John Haggie said he looks forward to continuing to work with the nurses union to improve the health-care system in Newfoundland and Labrador.
"Our nurses are always there, providing care and compassion when it is needed the most. We are seeing this first-hand during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"The extension of this agreement provides support to the union, employers and employees."
The union will present the tentative agreement to its 5,200 members across the province in the coming weeks for a vote to ratify the deal.