Manitoba nurses set to get retroactive raises under tentative agreement

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba Nurses Union has reached a tentative contract agreement with the province more than four years after the last deal expired.

The union says it will not comment until the proposed deal is ratified, but confirmed a post on social media that said it offers wage increases totalling 9.6 per cent over seven years, before compounding.

Nurses, along with other public-sector workers in Manitoba, have been fighting a planned wage freeze put forward by former premier Brian Pallister.

A bill enacting the wage freeze was passed in the legislature but never proclaimed into law.

It was struck down by a Court of Queen's Bench judge as a violation of collective bargaining rights, but the province has appealed.

The nurses union says its 12,000 members will vote on the tentative agreement online.

"There is still work to be done to address the significant weaknesses in our health-care system, but the improvements in this contract are a necessary and positive first step in addressing nurses serious concerns," union president Darlene Jackson said in a news release.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 6, 2021

The Canadian Press