New Brunswick — As New Brunswick hospitals reach breaking points, Blaine Higgs has made the decision that more nurses are not required and hospitals can run “just fine” without them.
Contract negotiations between GNB and NBNU concluded last month and a vote is pending for the Registered Nurses of New Brunswick. Bypassing the vote, Premier Higgs has legislated that New Brunswick Registered Nurses work for free, be available to work 24/7, and give up their lives prior to joining nursing (similar to the practice of some religious organizations).
NBNU President Paula Doucet released a statement saying, “I think it is fair what the government is proposing — nurses need to be mandated to work 24/7 just to keep this system afloat.” Other figureheads for NBNU have expressed dismay at the decision and warn nurses will be leaving for more attractive offers in other provinces.
“Let them go! Who needs nurses anyway?” Higgs told the Finance Committee in response. “Our hospitals run just fine at over 100 per cent patient capacity and 25 per cent staff!” Higgs is known for being a very frugal premier, adding, “I think this new way to save the province money will more than make up for any losses experienced due to COVID-19.”
Higgs was asked in an interview after the Finance Committee meeting whether there were concerns about the more than 800 vacant RN positions in New Brunswick. “Why would the committee be concerned?” he replied. “We’re saving the wages of all nurses, that money is all going toward government pizza parties and my new hot tub — consider those posts removed!”
The Leader of the Opposition released a statement following Higgs’s legislative changes urging the premier to take nurses and the profession seriously. Higgs was caught on camera later that evening blowing a raspberry at the Opposition Leader while his statement aired.
After his last interview, Higgs was admitted to a hospital in Nova Scotia. His condition is stable and the nurses in Nova Scotia were able to remove his head from his bottom.