Under the crunch of heavy workloads, mandated overtime and pandemic stress, Manitoba nurses are taking a strike vote.

This after months of negotiations failed to secure a contract.

Nurses union president Darlene Jackson says some of the main issues are retention and recruitment to deal with the province's nursing shortage.

The union's collective agreement expired more than four years ago.

She says should the vote pass and a strike be called, essential COVID-19 care would not be affected.