Friday, October 19, 2012

Nurses ratify new provincial contract @BCNursesUnion

Breakthrough agreement gives nurses new tools to increase staffing and improve patient care

BC’s more than 32,000 Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses have voted almost 85 percent to ratify a new provincial contract negotiated last month with health employers.

“This contract is a big win for safe patient care and safe staffing.” says Debra McPherson, president of the BC Nurses’ Union. “It will give nurses new tools to reduce heavy workloads and improve patient care by calling in nurses to replace those off sick or on vacation, improving nurses’ job security and hiring the equivalent of 2,125 more nurses.”

The contract contains “clear, enforceable provisions that recognize and respect the clinical judgment of nurses on when to call in more nurses to meet the needs of patients.

“For the first time ever health employers will be required to replace nurses who are off on leave from a scheduled shift, unless there are extenuating circumstances determined by the front-line nurse in charge and the manager. The criteria for calling in more nurses will be the needs of patients, not budget concerns,”

The contract also provides an across the board hourly wage increase of three per cent April 1, 2013.

BCNU is the largest union in the Nurses’ Bargaining Association, which negotiated the agreement. Also on the Association bargaining committee were representatives of the Union of Psychiatric Nurses and the Health Sciences Association.

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