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Executive Council
May 20, 2009

Tentative Agreement Reached; Nurses� Strike Avoided

The Provincial Government is pleased that after working through the entire night, a tentative agreement has been reached with the Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses' Union (NLNU) averting a strike. The Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Honourable Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board, said this agreement bodes well for the future of health care in the province.

Full details of the tentative agreement will be released by the union to their membership, but details include an across the board compounded pay increase of 21.5 per cent, plus new step increases for new nurses and senior nurses (representing a total pay increase of 31 per cent and 27 per cent respectively for these groups by the end of the contract), substantial increases to shift differentials and standby rates and increase in funding for education leave. The negotiated agreement includes language on Extended Earnings Loss (EEL) as previously put forward by the employer. As well, under language negotiated on issues related to market modifier the employer maintains the right to offer bonuses in order to address recruitment in hard to fill areas.

"We are pleased that after working through the night, we have been able to avert a strike with a tentative agreement that maintains our core principles as an employer," said Premier Williams. "This tentative agreement not only makes our nurses competitive across the country but also protects patient safety. These have always been our priorities, and we believe this generous agreement bodes extremely well for health care in our province."

Minister Kennedy said he is pleased to see another successfully negotiated collective agreement.

"After a long, hard negotiation process, I am pleased that our government has concluded yet another successful collective agreement," said Minister Kennedy. "This tentative agreement addresses serious recruitment and retention issues and ensures patients throughout the province continue to receive high quality health care."

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Media contact:

Elizabeth Matthews
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
Roger Scaplen
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
709-729-4304, 727-0991
Tansy Mundon
Director of Communications
Department of Finance
709-729-6830, 685-2646

2009 05 20                                                    7:15 a.m.

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