BC Government has reached a tentative agreement with nurses

VICTORIA – The Nurses’ Bargaining Association and the Health Employers’ Association of BC (HEABC) have reached a tentative five-year agreement consistent with the Province’s Economic Stability Mandate, Health Minister Terry Lake announced today.

“Over the past year, health employers have worked collaboratively with nurses to reach an agreement that both prioritizes patient needs and recognizes the value nurses provide to the health care system,” said Lake. “I would like to thank the parties for their hard work to get to this stage.”

The tentative five-year agreement covers nearly 42,000 registered, psychiatric, and licensed practical nurses working across the health sector throughout the province. The Nurses’ Bargaining Association is comprised of several member-unions including the BC Nurses’ Union, Health Sciences Association and Hospital Employees’ Union.

Currently, there are more than 250,000 public-sector employees covered by ratified agreements negotiated under the Economic Stability Mandate. This represents over 80% of all unionized employees in B.C.

Government’s Economic Stability Mandate provides public sector employers with the ability to negotiate longer-term agreements within a fixed fiscal envelope and offers employees an opportunity to participate in the Province’s economic growth.  Settlements are expected to be unique between sectors and reflect government’s priorities of having labour stability, affordable service delivery and a balanced budget. Over the coming weeks, the Nurses’ Bargaining Association and HEABC will work toward ratifying this agreement with their respective members. Following ratification, the parties will continue to build on ongoing collaborative efforts to implement strategic improvements to the health care system that improve care for patients and better support staff, including nurses. Details of the agreement will be available once the ratification process is complete.

B.C. nurses to begin filing charges for abuse, injuries

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.