In a Nurses Words

There’s no doubt about it: our public health care system is in chaos. Decades of neglect and underfunding have starved the system of much-needed investment, and after weathering almost three years of a pandemic, the seams are more than a little frayed: they’re bursting.
The situation comes as no surprise to anyone who has been working on the front lines. Health care workers and the unions that advocate for them have been desperately trying to get the public and government to pay attention.

NSGEU nurses have always been at the forefront of our fight. In 2014, after Stephen McNeil’s Liberal government refused to listen to their pleas for safer staffing levels and mandatory minimum nurse to patient ratios, and instead tried to legislate away their union membership and right to an effective strike, our nurses took a stand, walking off the job in protest.

Now, just eight years later, the system we fought so hard to protect is at the brink of collapse.
Will this new government listen to its nurses, now?

In July 2022, the NSGEU released the first in our series of interviews with nurses who are again bravely taking a stand. This time, they’re speaking out about what it is actually like to be working inside of Nova Scotia’s hospitals right now.

In a Nurses Words, Part 1: “Chaos”
In a Nurse’s Words, Part 2: “Thrown to the Wolves”
In A Nurse’s Words, Part 3: “The Worst I’ve Ever Seen”

We have done our best to protect the identity of these nurses while still allowing them to tell their stories, in their own words. Our hope is that these videos will open up a dialogue with the employer, government and public, so we can start making some meaningful improvements in the acute care system immediately, based on feedback we received during our conversations with these nurses.
Please take some time to watch and share the videos, and stay tuned for more to come as we head into nurses’ bargaining in the new year. It is in all our interests to support the nurses in their fight for an improved public health care system.

*This article appeared in the winter edition of the Union Stand.

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