AGM 2019: Recap of Day 2

Publish date: Thursday, May 02, 2019

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Nurses, union allies and concerned community partners joined together for another massive rally in front of the Manitoba Legislature today. It was the third successive year nurses have rallied to Put Patients First, and against ongoing health care cuts and closures.

Nurses called for the government to protect safe patient care by addressing increasing workload and overtime as Manitoba’s nursing shortage worsens.

“We’re here to tell Mr. Pallister and Mr. Friesen that nursing is ‘no day at the spa’,” said MNU President Darlene Jackson. “If this government feels they need to ‘heal healthcare’ then speak to those that heal. We know that the further decision- making gets from the bedside, the worse it gets.”

Also speaking at the rally was Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions; Local 10 President Lana Penner; Prairie Mountain Board Representative Val Wotton; and Winnipeg Long-Term Care Board Representative Karen Jantzen.

Resolutions Passed

Three resolutions were presented to MNU delegates for consideration, and were passed after delegates had opportunity to debate each issue at length.

Resolution 1 calls for enhanced financial reporting within MNU local/worksites, to ensure consistent standards and accountability across the province. Resolution 3, although not technically passed by delegates due to time constraints with a busy agenda, urges MNU to “actively lobby the government to legislate an increase to 4.1 direct care hours per resident, per day," and was referred to the board.

Notably, Resolution 2 was also passed, which called on the Manitoba Nurses Union to affiliate with the Manitoba Federation of Labour. An FAQ on why affiliation was recommended by the MNU Board of Directors is available at manitobanurses.ca/mfl-faq. After thorough discussion on the floor, a clear majority of MNU delegates voted to affiliate, and ensure MNU remains in good standing with current labour affiliates, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions and the Canadian Labour Congress.

AGM resolutions are available on pages 27 & 28 of our 2018 Annual Report.

Put Patients First & Representation Vote Campaign Approved with Dues Increase

It’s no secret that MNU members are facing difficult times. Since 2017, the Pallister government has implemented devastating health care cuts & closures, particularly within the WRHA. In addition, they have passed wage-freeze legislation that violates our constitutional right to collective bargaining, and Bill 29 which forces representation votes to reduce collective bargaining units in the health care sector. Please visit manitobanurses.ca/vote to learn more about how Bill 29 and upcoming representation votes may affect nurses in the near future.

MNU has heard clearly from members throughout the province that they expect the union to fight back against these attacks on nurses and patients. MNU and other labour unions in Manitoba are facing the most significant attacks on their memberships since the ‘90s. In response, MNU has planned an aggressive advertising and organizing campaign that will engage Manitobans about health care issues in Manitoba, and encourage  our members to VOTE for MNU. 

Following approval of the campaign and passage of the resolution to affiliate with the MFL, delegates debated the need for a dues increase. Increasing costs to members is never an easy decision, particularly during these challenging times. After thoughtful discussion that considered the consistent threats members are facing from government, MNU delegates passed the resolution, which will increase dues by $4 bi-weekly, starting in 2020.

It’s been 10 years since the last MNU dues increase. Click here for an FAQ for why the MNU Finance Committee recommended this action.

Yellow Ribbon Award and Lifetime Membership Recognition

Every year, MNU recognizes members who have exemplified the spirit of the Yellow Ribbon. The yellow ribbon emerged in the 1990s as a symbol of nurses’ willingness to stand together and support each other. 

Congratulations to Virginia Mushumanski for being this year’s recipient. Mushumansk is a member of St. Boniface Local 5, and is referred to as their ‘union mom’ by many members, including nominator Laura Wickstrom. She is recognized for her commitment to her fellow nurses through her mentorship, by urging reporting of workload and safety concerns, and her involvement in union activities. It was a special occasion for many nurses to see her receive MNU’s Yellow Ribbon Award.

MNU also presented a lifetime membership to long-time nursing activist Debbie Mintz. The Executive Board of MNU may grant an Honorary Life Membership to persons for outstanding or meritorious service to the MNU. Debbie is a long-time nursing activist, and passionate union ambassador. She was Vice-President of Local 5 in 1990, when MNU was gearing up for the ’91 strike. After that, she was elected President of Local 5 in 1996 – she held that position for 15 years until 2011!

While she was President, she was also PCBC rep for bargaining at that time. She was integral to many of the gains nurses enjoy today, including the COLA increase agreed to in the Collective Agreement in October 2009. She also served as Co-Chair of the St. Boniface NAC from 1996-2011, and was a MNU Board Member from 2004 – 2006.

Elections

After hearing from both candidates for Vice-President on Day 1, Day featured the vote. Delegates elected Deanna Douglas to serve a two-year term as Vice-President. Delegates and the MNU Board thank Donna McKenzie for her service and dedication as Vice-President for the past eight years.

Dues Increase Fact Sheet

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