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The BCNU advantage

Strong contracts

BCNU members take home some of the strongest pay and benefits packages in health care in the country.

In March 2009 BCNU negotiated a two-year provincial contract extension providing labour market adjustments of 3 per cent a year without concessions.

The 2006 provincial contract was the best agreement signed by any of BC's public sector unions. The new contract provided wage increases of 14.2 per cent over four years. It doubled night and weekend shift premiums and provided a new allowance for members who use their own vehicles delivering care in the community.

The provincial contract provides the best vacation entitlement for nurses in Canada.

Other contracts with independent employers provide solid wages, benefits and pensions and ensure employers treat members fairly in determining work assignments, promotions, and issues related to job performance.

BCNU members enjoy superior pay and benefits and greatly enhanced workplace rights compared to nurses in any non-union facilities.

Learn more about BCNU’s contracts.

Supportive membership and stewards

By belonging to BCNU, you're part of an active, caring community of skilled health care providers, experienced in fighting for better working conditions and improved patient care. BCNU stewards work hard to assist members with issues in their workplaces. Stewards are everyday BCNU members elected to provide their skills and knowledge to help members solve problems, defend contract rights, and improve working conditions. To learn these skills, stewards attend some of the extensive education programs offered by BCNU.

To learn more about BCNU education programs click here.

Responsible, accountable leaders

Unlike most unions, every BCNU member gets to vote directly for their top provincial leaders – the president, vice-president, treasurer and executive councillors. At the regional level, members elect their regional executives at open meetings. Members can attend and observe meetings of BCNU Council, the union's governing body and are welcome to participate and vote at all regional meetings.

For more on the union's leadership click here.

Supportive staff

To assist members with more challenging issues, BCNU stewards have access to a skilled team of Labour Relations Officers. The LROs are experts on contract interpretation and on using the grievance/arbitration system to ensure members are treated fairly. The Education Department organizes skill-building and informational programs for stewards.

The Occupational Health and Safety Department helps OH&S stewards with accident investigations, advocates for members with workers compensation or long term disability issues, and promotes measures to prevent illness and injury and create safer workplaces. The Communications and Campaigns Department provides information about union activities to members and to the broader community through the news media and assists members seeking to organize to improve working conditions and patient care.

Dedicated advocates

BCNU encourages members to organize to in their workplaces or in their communities to bring about positive change. BCNU campaigns officers help members plan actions to involve more members, publicize the issues and influence the decision-makers. For example, BCNU campaigns have succeeded in increasing workplace safety, securing more staff, and keeping services for patients open.

Funding for union activities

To ensure members don't lose out financially by participating in the union, union funding is available for members to attend many BCNU activities.

Award-winning communications

BCNU members benefit from award-winning advertising and news media initiatives promoting the role, the views and accomplishments of BCNU members. BCNU members receive the colourful and informative Update magazine six times a year and have access to the newly-redesigned BCNU website.

Standing up for public healthcare

BCNU stands tall as a powerful advocate for improvements in our public medicare system. The union is a key player on nursing policy committees at the regional, provincial and national levels. Together with our allies in the community, such as seniors and the BC Health Coalition, BCU disseminates research on healthcare issues and speaks out for quality public healthcare and against those who would undermine and destroy it. More

How to Join BCNU

To join BCNU you need to get organized. You can contact the BCNU's organizer at joinbcnu@bcnu.org.

If your facility isn't currently covered by a BCNU contract, 55 per cent of the employees in what would be the bargaining unit need to sign BCNU membership cards. Then the Labour Relations Board will hold a vote. Once the union is certified to represent employees in your workplace the union will arrange to negotiate a contract with your employer.


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