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President's Message

ELEVATE AND ADVANCE THE PROFESSION OF NURSING

Christine Sorensen

On behalf of your NBA bargaining committee, I’m very pleased to present the 2019 - 2022 tentative agreement.

This is a contract that will elevate and advance the profession of nursing and positively influence the future of health care in our province!

As your president, I've had the privilege to hear from thousands of nurses across the province. Results from last year's province-wide bargaining survey, coupled with continuous feedback from members, helped create the key pillars this agreement is built on. 

Highlights of this agreement include:

  • Workload and staffing. An innovative nurse-driven workload assessment process will utilize the nurses' clinical expertise to determine staffing on units. Acute and Long-Term Care nurses will be paid a working short premium ($5 per hour where there are 10 or less nurses on a shift and $3 where there are 11 or more nurses on shift) for every hour worked below baseline or when additional nurses are needed and none are available. A short notice premium ($2 per hour) will apply for all straight time shifts offered and accepted within 24 hours of the start of the shift and nurses will be paid for end-of-shift work which extends beyond their shift.  

  • Respect for professional autonomy. Nurses now have access to personal leave days; more say over vacation scheduling; and have the ability to self-schedule. Nurses can now vote to remove six-day rotations and all community nurses will be able to request to work extended shifts and bring back earned days off. 

  • Respect for professional voice. Primary Care Model changes will include a comprehensive labour adjustment plan which recognizes that specialized community services, not generalists, are needed for complex patients. Learning needs assessments and education for all nurses, prior to being asked to complete procedures, will also be incorporated.  An additional $1.4 million has been allocated to fund scope upgrades for all nurses.  An additional $2 million has been allocated to fund Clinical Mentors who will not have a patient assignment and whose sole function will be to provide elbow to elbow support for nurses.

  • Respect for professional practice. We now have a streamlined professional responsibility process intended to involve professional practice experts early on in the process. This will result in more timely responses to practice concerns.

  • Benefits protected. All benefits will continue to be 100% employer paid. There will be no changes to the drug plan, dental plan, or LTD. We will spend a year consulting with members on the utilization of paramedical benefits, primarily massage. Following consultation, members will choose one of two options, both of which represent a significant benefit package improvement. Casuals who work 500 hours in peak periods will now be eligible for benefits reimbursement. Casuals working in temporary positions will have their status changed to regular, and will therefore receive regular benefits for the term.  Status changes will no longer trigger an automatic loss of banks or vacation entitlements. 

  • Pensions protected. A pension plan review will take place following ratification. The review will address your concerns about having more control and say over your pension and will stop plan changes being forced on nurses without their voice. The review will look at creating Canada's first and leading edge Nurses Pension Plan!

  • Compensation. All nurses will see wage increases of 6% over 3 years and LPNs will follow a new updated wage grid with additional steps resulting in an 8.2% increase at the top step, further closing the wage gap. In addition, college registration fees for all nurses will now be partially reimbursed by your employer ($215 per year); and, all regular community nurses will receive a $50 per month business allowance.

Learn more about your new agreement by reading the summary document and the contract improvements chart included on the Member Portal, and attend as many report-out sessions as possible.

This contract will help BCNU take the lead in shaping the future of health care, for the patients we care for and ourselves as professionals.

Sincerely,  

Christine Sorensen
President, BC Nurses' Union

Updated: 12/7/2018 3:11 PM

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