Each individual nurse may carry out his/her own work-to-rule campaign by refusing overtime, refusing extra shifts, refusing to do the owrk of other disciplines (answering phones, filling water jugs, stocking bedside carts, filing the millions of chart copies of every document in the world, etc), filing PRCs, filling out overtime slips for missed breaks and leaving late, and anything else that would be legally backed up. BUT... and it's a big but... anything that even remotely looks like an organized effort to work-to-rule will be considered strike action and the government may step in with fines and arrests. The optics of such a move on their part would be bad in the extreme, but when King Ralph was on the throne, he didn't hesitate to remind us that he could and would. In this context, it would seem obvious that any strike vote UNA would consider would be a very serious step, but Heather isn't ruling it out.
The differences with mediation this time around are that it is voluntary, the mediator is not a government puppet, the two sides are still meeting face-to-face in the presence of the mediator and the external pressure on the employer is much greater than it was three years ago. No one was offering signing bonuses then; the boom (population and economic) was just getting underway; Alberta had a reasonably good contract in comparison to other provinces and bed shortages, code burgundies, ER overcrowding and media attention weren't on the radar yet. That's what the union means when they say they can't accept a four year contract... too much changes and we need to be able to react in a timely manner.
We have some very shrewd negotiators on our team. One suggestion that came out of our local meeting on the 9th was that nurses on the bubble call LAPP and ask what their monthly pension payments would be if they took retirement this year. Trust me that word would get around if a couple of hundred of us did that. I could suggest that all those nice nursing students who are in the final weeks of practicum and not yet union members are exempt from the media ban, and they could be an effective voice for our side. I had lunch with one such person the other day; I asked her how she'd feel if she accepted a job with Capital Health while negotiations are ongoing, then found out that she was going to be starting at 3% less than the nurse who graduated last year started at, who now would actually be 7+% ahead of her after the proposed 4% increase. The look on her face spoke volumes.
Talk about all of this where your managers can hear you. They are small potatoes, but they can pass on the message to the bigger potatoes, who then can pass it on to the Head Spuds. The managers in our unit are sweating bullets because of all the talk about leaving for greener pastures. We have more than a few nurses who came here from Saskatchewan when we were the top of the heap, and they have no qualms about going back now that the worm has turned. If I were 25 again and didn't have all the baggage I have, I could live in Saskatchewan for a few years.:hatparty: