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The Saskatchewan Health Care Council has condemned the decision by the Romanow government to legislate striking nurses back to work, a mere six hours after they walked out.

In a statement released April 8, the Council discounted claims that life-threatening emergencies were developing, citing the nurses’ pledge to provide enough staff to look after emergencies.

The legislation is described as “a cold and callous act by a government which gives lip service to the principle of free collective bargaining and then thumbs their collective noses at the workers of Saskatchewan by using the power of the state to impose their will whenever they want.” The Council rejects the terms of the imposed settlement which “does nothing to address the concerns of nurses about wages, overwork and lack of adequate staffing levels.”