Nursing Matters

Bread and Roses Award

December 20, 2023

A major highlight from the CFNU Biennial Convention was the presentation of the prestigious “Bread and Roses” Awards. This award is given to a CFNU member who actively contributed to unions on a provincial and/or national level.

RNU president Yvette Coffey was presented with a Bread and Roses award on June 6.

“Yvette led RNUNL through two of the most tumultuous years in the history of Canada’s nursing profession and did so with confidence and grace,” said Linda Silas, President of CFNU. “She’s a fierce advocate of publicly funded and publicly delivered health care, and an enormous asset to nurses.”

Yvette began working as a shop steward in 1990 and since then has progressed through union leadership as branch president, board member, and vice president. In 2021 Yvette was elected President of the RNU.

In 2022, Yvette successfully lobbied government to hold a Think Tank to come up with solutions to improve retention and recruitment. The Think Tank took place on April 4-5, and it was the first time everyone – from frontline all the way to CEOs – gathered in this format to discuss the challenges facing the nursing profession.

Among other noteworthy accomplishments made possible by Yvette’s advocacy work are:

  • 25% increase in seats at the Schools of Nursing in NL;
  • Establishment of a new government office for health professional recruitment and retention;
  • Workforce Research completed jointly with the provincial government;
  • Government commitment to establish NP-led clinics.

Yvette has always been an active and strong voice for nurses nationally and in NL. An inspiring and motivational leader, Yvette believes we are stronger when we work together. Her attitude and commitment have won her respect provincially and nationally, and we are proud of her dedication and commitment to the RNU membership.