President's Message

Adriane Gear


Connecting and speaking with members every day is the highlight of my job. It’s nurses’ commitment to their patients and co-workers that keeps me inspired. But I recognize how extremely hard it is right now for so many of you, and I’m acutely aware of the struggle BC’s nurses are facing as they continue to deliver patient care in the midst of an unprecedented staffing shortage, whether it’s working your third 16-hour-shift in a row, facing risk to your personal safety, or seeing patients suffer because of unsafe staffing levels. But I know we have the solutions to address this crisis.

In early March, your voices and first-hand stories were on my mind when I joined health minster Adrian Dix to welcome the government’s announcement outlining the province’s commitment to implement minimum nurse-to-patient ratios in six distinct hospital-based care settings across BC. In fact, this puts our province on the path to becoming the first jurisdiction in the world to have a minimum staffing standard of one nurse for every four patients in medical/surgical units 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

This milestone follows months of work and consultation between BCNU, the Ministry of Health and health employers. And it’s just the beginning. Now, we are focused on working with health authorities to ensure the successful implementation of minimum nurse-to-patient ratios at every step of the way, and bring ratios to remaining hospital and non-hospital settings, such as long-term care and the community.

There is plenty of work ahead of us, and I am more committed than ever to ensuring the province pursues the nurse retention and recruitment strategies needed to alleviate the pressure on health-care settings across BC. The government’s recent announcement of $169.5 million for the expansion of provincial retention incentives and $68.1 million for training and licensing investments will certainly go a long way to securing the staffing we so desperately need.

Nurse compensation is also critical to our success. Nurses’ Bargaining Association members will receive a wage increase of three percent, effective April 1. This includes an additional one percent cost-of-living adjustment increase for year three of the 2022-25 provincial collective agreement, in recognition of the inflationary pressures facing all workers today. Together with other contract improvements to overall compensation, this final wage increase makes NBA members the highest paid nurses within the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions.

Safe staffing and working conditions also remain a top priority for me and your union, which is why we’ve launched “Not Okay” – a province-wide health and safety reporting initiative that will help BCNU highlight the need for safer workplaces and health authority accountability during our provincial lobbying efforts this May.

Whether it’s exposure to harmful substances and weapons, acts of violence or unsafe staffing levels, we know that nurses are subjected to serious health and safety risks every day. We need to hear from you. Between now and April 15, the union is asking members to share personal experiences of unsafe working conditions by completing a short, online survey.

None of the work we do would be possible without the amazing leadership of members in our midst. Nominations are now open for BCNU’s annual leadership awards, which recognize members making a difference in the lives of their patients, colleagues and communities. I encourage you to nominate a fellow member today. Visit the awards webpage to learn more.

There is no better time to get involved in your union as we gear up for a busy spring. Put your name forward today to participate in upcoming surveys and focus groups to help monitor and evaluate nurse-to-patient ratios at worksites across the province. Attend your next regional meeting ahead of our annual convention in May, take part in BCNU events at your worksite, and don’t forget to share your story through our “Not Okay” reporting survey.

Together, our collective voice will bring change for the better. As we continue to forge ahead, I remain immensely proud to represent you all, celebrating our shared commitment to patient care and the nursing profession.

In solidarity,

Adriane Gear signature

Adriane Gear
President, BC Nurses' Union

UPDATED: March 25, 2024
Constitution & Bylaws
Constitution and Bylaws 2023
Annual Report
Annual Report 2022-2023 Cover

If you are NOT receiving updates, news, and events emailed to you, log in to the BCNU Member Portal and update your information.