B.C. Nurses' Union president Gayle Duteil speaks to a rally at the B.C. legislature

B.C. nurses ratify five-year contract

B.C. Nurses' Union president Gayle Duteil says deal gives nurses more say in health policy, staffing levels

B.C. nurses have voted 85 per cent to accept a contract with the provincial government that deals with staff shortages.

B.C. Nurses’ Union president Gayle Duteil said Wednesday the new deal gives nurses a greater say in shaping health care policy, and represents improved safety and violence prevention.

Staffing levels have been the key issue in the lengthy negotiations, which produced an interim deal in May 2015 to settle 1,600 union grievances filed over staff vacancies. That included $5 million for specialty training and a $2 million “grievance settlement fund” to pay bonuses to nurses who worked short-handed.

Health Minister Terry Lake said some of the 1,500 new nurse positions in the agreement are filled by casual employees moving to full-time, and others are new graduates. Shortages remain in specialty areas such as operating rooms, where an additional $5 million is included for about 850 nurses to take specialty training.

The agreement includes $2 million for rural and remote areas that the BCNU says could be used for housing assistance or tuition relief to make positions more attractive.

Lake said the use of “tele-health” links has resulted in a significant reduction in trips to major health care centres to see specialists. And in April, the government announced expansion of its community paramedic program to 73 communities, replacing on-call paramedics with full-time jobs that include home visits and nursing home support.

Nurses are the last major provincial employee group to settle under the B.C. government’s “economic stability mandate,” which provides a share of economic growth that exceeds independent forecasts. The nurses’ deal also includes a 5.5 per cent wage increase over five years, similar to other public sector wage settlements.

The contract covers 45,000 registered, psychiatric and licensed practical nurses represented by the BCNU, the Health Sciences Association and the Hospital Employees’ Union.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hardy Bay Seniors’ Centre doubling down to build community during COVID-19

The volunteer-run group is cooking meals and checking in on isolated seniors

Three weekly direct flights from Port Hardy to Vancouver starting June 1

Direct between Bella Bella and Vancouver not resuming at this time

UPDATE: Local taxi company applying to opertate north island bus route

Waivin’ Flags Taxi wants to operate Route 5 between Cambpell River and Port Hardy

Change in service: Port Hardy is switching from bi-weekly garbage pick up to weekly schedule

The cost for the weekly garbage pick up service is an additional $30.12 annually.

Cancelling bus service between Campbell River and Port Hardy will compromise health access, region warns

Mount Waddington Health Network says transportation primary factor for rural health access

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Stepdad able to walk bride down the aisle days before he passes away

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Most Read