By Tiffany Crawford,
B.C. nurses will begin pressing charges against those who hurt or abuse them, the president of the B.C. Nurses Union announced Tuesday.
Gayle Duteil said the BCNU will pursue legal action when authorized by a nurse who has been injured on the job. The union is also creating a new support system for nurses who are physically or psychologically hurt.
“We have waited too long for the government and health authorities to take action and our nurses have broken jaws to prove it,” said Duteil, during an opening address to hundreds of nurses at the BCNU’s annual convention in Vancouver.
She added that the BCNU has requested more safety officers and alarm systems.
She said in the past six weeks, the union has filed over 4,200 grievances related to the last contract.
“We will demand charges be laid,” said Duteil, adding that B.C. needs legislation similar to New York, where it is a felony to assault a nurse.
She also said the union will set up a seven-day a week violence hotline for nurses to call.