Containing Health Care Spending

Back to article »

  • Only wanna tell that this is very useful , Thanks for taking your time to write this. dbgbeefbckbc

    Johnc326 | August 13, 2014 | Reply

  • Bill,

    Excellent piece in the Herald. You were spot on. My wife is a member of NSNU in HRM and said your article was making the rounds throughout the hospital. Most see it as an accurate representation of their views.

    The president of the NSGEU is also guilty of fracturing her own locals over this matter. Many NSGEU members I know feel their dues are being wasted on expensive communications plans for a battle without an upside. If Jessome is successful in getting more money for nursing positions at hospitals, it will undoubtedly come in part from the loss of government jobs elsewhere.

    Nursing median salaries are also above that of average NSGEU members. The 2300 nurses represent +/- 10% of the revenue stream of dues paying members in that organization. NSGEU is essentially a business with very limited revenue growth opportunities. A business with an expensive new headquarters building to pay for.

    In other provincial jurisdictions where boards were merged the employer applied each time to certify a single bargaining unit. As you implied, NSNU is the overwhelming front runner. Jessome is facing internal fracturing of her locals on top of a potential balance sheet issue that cannot be easily resolved. I am sensing her rumored $300K plus compensation package might be up for discussion or even termination. I think her style of Industrial Relations should return to the 1970’s where it belongs.

    Another point of note is the staff within Capital Health. All of the savings in board consolidation are within administration. Many involved in these negotiations are fighting for their own existence as well. Their efforts to prove themselves as efficient and tough negotiators has only served to re-enforce the theme that our hospitals are not very nice places for nurses to work anymore and management isn’t addressing it.

    Keep up the good work. Love hearing your words of wisdom

    Barry | April 8, 2014 | Reply

  • The main point that is missed here is that these ratios are not a contractual matter. No matter how they slice the cheese they are not a barganing chip that can be used by the union to hold the tax payers of Nova Scotia hostage. I think they may be needed by with actions like illegal wildcat strikes the union has set this back 10 years. The government was forced by unreasonable union demands to do what they did.

    Phil | April 5, 2014 | Reply

  • It is VERY !!! obvious by your “out of whack” statement about “ratios”
    that you are either Anti labour or completely out of touch with reality.
    My daughter in law to be is a nurse in the ICU Cardio Vascular Dept of the QEII and she has just finished 5 shifts of 6PM-6Am with up to 6 patients ( or as the hospital says customers ) to attend to. Now bear in mind ALL !!!!!!!! these patients have just had heart attacks !!!!. How would you or your wife like to be one of these patients and have trouble while the nurse is either changing or helping someone change a crappy diaper and you die with feces on the floor next to your bed ?????!!!!!
    There are people that come through these wards that have NOTHING !!! , no money , no family , no friends ,HOMELESS !!!! and these nurses ( from their own pockets !!!!! ) buy deodorant , and maybe a pair of slippers to the tune of over $100 every month all year long FOR THEIR PATIENTS without being asked !!!! I don’t see your name there as giving anything to help those people !!!!. 21 years ago I was involved in a car accident that left me on death’s door and in the hospital for 153 days !!!! . I would lay my life on the line for the care I received. Before you make anymore statements about something you know NOTHING !!!!
    (or seem to ) about , look at your date of birth , then look in the mirror and strap your Depends on tight BECAUSE YOU WILL NEED THEM !!!
    until a nurse is freed up to give you the shot of Nitro you need to make the next hour so your family can be there in person to say “adios amigo it was good knowing you “.

    Hughie Gilchrist | March 9, 2014 | Reply

  • This article is excellent and very well written. Bottom line is there is only so much money and we can’t afford an increase of nurses in the system. In all the discussions of patient safety I haven’t heard any real examples where lives are compromised with current services. And if they are we need to be more creative with the services we have. Bill nailed it in identifying all the benefits that are in the collective agreement now. If NSGEU truly has patient interests at heart and want to be partners in the solution (oh wait have they talked about partnerships or is this just my subconscious talking?) then let’s renegotiate all benefits to free up money for an increase in services. How many employees in the private sector have these benefits?
    Nurses pay for the unions representation so I guess they deserve advocacy for their $$. Maybe we could take these union dues and put them back into the system to increase services. Hmmm
    I have a hard time listening to how important nurses are when there are so many other essential services that need our support, respect and funding. Go firefighters!

    Darren | March 8, 2014 | Reply

  • I really don’t think, Mr. Black that your grasp on healthcare issues is very knowledgeable. Your focus on personalities (Joan Jessome) and the NSGEU looks like a smoke screen. The real issue; which even Kathleen MacMillian fails to address is patient acuity levels at Capital Health. The Halifax Infirmary/VG hospitals are tertiary care… requiring well educated heath care providers at the bedside. There is a very real need to have flexible staffing that meets the acuity levels of patients. Senior level management have been in a position for 10 plus years to address this issue and they have failed. The focus on patient care is simply not there.Veterans, had to go public about the sub-standard meals…embarrassing management into patient focused change on the meal issue. Its the same management that couldn’t make a profit at running Tim Horton outlets. Focusing on the bottom line is important from a financial perspective; but we are dealing with a vulnerable segment whose needs aren’t truly addressed. Heathcare workers should not be seen as slaves whose duty is obey the master. This primarily female profession requires more respect…I would challenge you to compare the responsibilities of a nurse and a NSLC employee at the entry level; in relationship to remuneration.

    David | March 7, 2014 | Reply

  • Listening to Jessome in matters such as this is just another instance of the fox wanting to guard the hen house..

    bob mackenzie | March 7, 2014 | Reply

  • Northwood offer: 7.5% for 3 years.
    NSGEU civil servants ratified last year: 7.5% over 3 years.
    There are many Nova Scotians who would be thrilled with those increases.

    Gerry Giffin | March 7, 2014 | Reply