This winter I had the opportunity to travel the province and meet with members at Nurses’ Bargaining Association contract ratification info sessions. It’s not the first time I’ve visited several worksites in one day, but I never tire of spending time with so many amazing nurses who remind me of what exemplary leadership looks like.
As nurses, we lead by example wherever we find ourselves. We represent our profession, and we know how to make a difference with our partners in the health-care system as we work toward positive change. It’s up to all of us to lead that change with civility and respect.
“It’s in you to lead” – that’s the message from our Member Engagement Committee ahead of this year’s BCNU steward elections. Stewards are the backbone of our organization, and providing them with the education and support they need is one of our highest priorities.
Are you ready lead? Talk to stewards at your worksite and find out more about the role. Stewards provide amazing leadership to members every day, and I hope more people will step up to the challenge. It’s not always an easy job, but it’s truly rewarding.
The work of our Constitution and Bylaws Renewal Working Group is another excellent example of effective leadership. They’ve led our governance renewal process over the past two years by bringing members together, finding shared values and charting a path forward. The proposed revision to the union’s governing document is the culmination of extensive member engagement and input, and will be brought to this year’s convention for adoption.
BCNU is also demonstrating national leadership with our advocacy for nurses’ occupational health and safety. I’m proud to report that our provincial “Violence. Not Part of the Job” campaign won a major award of excellence at this year’s BC American Marketing Awards. We collaborated with our creative agency Wasserman + Partners to influence public perception of nurses’ workplace violence with compelling TV ads that began running in 2017. Our message has since been taken up by nurses’ unions across the country, and the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions has now launched a national campaign that builds on the work we began here in BC.
There are so many things our union is doing well, and there are things we need to do better. I acknowledge there is room for improvement in the way we communicate with members. I want to make it easy for you to come forward with constructive ideas to make our union stronger and to lead the change that’s needed to effectively represent nurses today and into the future.
We anticipate making changes to the way we use technology to engage with members, and we’ll be reaching out to you to find out more about your needs with the goal of improving your access to information and involvement with BCNU.
I am proud of the newly-ratified NBA collective agreement that came into effect this month. This is your contract, but its potential can only be realized when individual members step up and help enforce it. This starts with a member like you filing a grievance, using the professional responsibility process, or identifying a safety concern related to workplace violence.
We are actively establishing working groups with health employers to develop joint interpretations of the new contract language and implementation is ongoing. Be sure to read your BCNU eNews for more contract details as they become available.
I would like to close by extending a warm welcome to BCNU’s new vice president Aman Grewal, I look forward to working closely with her as the newest addition to your leadership team, and helping all BCNU members reach their leadership potential.
Christine SorensenPresident, BC Nurses' Union
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