Port council fights to keep nurse

  • Dec. 8, 2004 5:00 a.m.

The village of Port Clements is asking the Northern Health Authority to change its mandatory retirement policy so nurse Jonna Mattiesing can keep working at the local clinic.
In a letter sent to NHA chief executive Harry Gairnes this week, mayor Dale Lore says it is difficult and expensive to keep health care workers in remote communities, and that the mandatory retirement policy wastes available local talent.
“This individual has served the community for the last 14 years. She wishes and is able to continue doing so,” the letter states. “She is well respected and loved by her community not only for on-the-job contributions but also for her commitment to making her community a better place to live.”
At Monday night’s council meeting (Dec. 6), acting mayor Gerry Johnson said the neighbouring villages of Old Massett and Masset support Port’s request.
He said Ms Mattiesing’s forced retirement was discussed last week at a meeting between the three northern communities and the NHA’s chief operating office in the northwest, Suzanne Johnston.
Ms Johnston had originally told Port there was no way to allow Ms Mattiesing to keep working, but after the meeting she suggested writing to the NHA board to request a change to the retirement policy, Mr. Johnson said.