Contracts and Bargaining Your Collective Agreement
Your Collective Agreement
- Community Bargaining Association
- Community Social Services Bargaining Association
- Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA)
- Independent Collective Agreements
- Nurses' Bargaining Association
- Public Service Agreement
- Your Pension
- Contract Interpretation Manual
- Challenging Attendance Management
Joint Contract Interpretation
Click on the following articles to view the joint contract interpretations.
(D) An employee who voluntarily accepts a shift will be paid the appropriate rate of pay for that position.
(D) Voluntary Acceptance
Employees are under no obligation to accept lower-rated shifts offered by the Employer.
Where an employee voluntarily accepts a shift, whether at overtime or straight-time, in a lower-rated position, they will be paid the rate of pay attracted by the position.
Where the Employer reassigns a regular employee to work in a lower-rated position, the employee will be paid at their regular rate of pay. Article 18.08 (C) applies to casuals.
This language does not apply to RNs/RPNs who fill a vacant LPN shift, unless they are dual registered. As per Appendix EE employees who are dual registered as an LPN and RN/RPN are paid the rate of the pay for the position except where the RN/RPN does not actively work as an LPN (i.e., doesn't have a regular LPN position and/or is not on an LPN casual list).
A regular-status Level 2 nurse is offered and accepts a shift as a Level 1 nurse three days before it is scheduled to start. The nurse is paid the Level 1 rate of pay.
A regular-status Level 4 nurse is reassigned at the start of or during their shift to fill a Level 3 vacancy. The nurse will be paid their Level 4 rate of pay.
A regular-status Level 3 nurse is offered and accepts a vacant Level 1 shift as no Level 1 nurses were available. The nurse will be paid their current Level 3 rate of pay.
A dual-registered employee who actively works as both an LPN and an RN/RPN but owns a regular position as a Level 3 RN/RPN is offered and accepts a Level 1 LPN shift. This employee will be paid the Level 1 rate of pay.
Where an employee is required to perform work which extends beyond the end of their regularly scheduled shift by less than fifteen (15) minutes, they will be paid at their straight-time rate of pay for all time worked.
Where the time worked is fifteen (15) minutes or greater, the employee will be paid at the applicable overtime rate in accordance with Article 27 – Overtime.
The goal of this article is not to increase work obligations, rather it is to ensure that workload is properly addressed and nurses do not have to consistently stay past the end of their shift. It is also not intended to create additional administrative burden for supervisors or the system.
This language addresses the situation where, in the employee's professional judgment, work must be completed by the employee prior to the end of their shift (i.e., cannot be left for the oncoming staff to complete/perform). Some examples include completing a dressing change, completing a client visit, or completing charting that could not be finished by end of shift, and the work can be completed in less than fifteen (15) minutes.
Given the nature of these situations it is not practical for a nurse to seek pre-approval and, therefore, pre-approval by the employer is not required. When claiming for this pay, the nurse may be required to provide a rationale for the additional time.
Work for fifteen (15) minutes or longer is considered overtime and must be authorized by the Employer as per Article 27 - Overtime.
Nurses are expected to work collaboratively, with each other and with Management, to ensure that work load is properly managed and that nurses are not staying beyond the end of their shift.
If a unit/program/department or nurse is experiencing consistent or significant requests for pay under this article, the manager and nurse or group of nurses should meet to discuss the reasons for the ongoing issues and identify strategies to ensure that the nurse(s) do not have to stay past the end of their shift. This review may include a discussion about the need to change the handover process, a schedule change to accommodate paid handover, or other strategies and approaches to manage workload.
There is an unfilled shift on nights and a replacement is not available until 2100. The manager asks the day shift nurse (0700-1900) to stay the two (2) hours extra and work until 2100. The nurse is paid two (2) hours at the applicable overtime rate from 1900-2100.
An emergent patient incident late in the shift prevents the nurse from completing their charting by shift end. They stay an additional ten (10) minutes to ensure patient documentation is completed. The nurse may claim (10) minutes at straight time rate of pay.
A nurse working 0700-1900 becomes aware late in the shift that they will not be able to complete their charting on time and knows they will need about an hour to do so. They receive approval from their manager in advance and work until 2000. They are paid at the applicable overtime rate for one (1) hour.
(A) A record shall be kept of authorized overtime worked by each employee which, at the option of the employee, shall be taken as time off or pay. Should the option be time off, such time off for overtime shall be accumulated and taken at a time mutually agreed to by the employee and the Employer.
(B) The maximum amount in an employee's overtime bank shall be forty-five (45) straight-time hours.
During negotiations for the 2019-2022 NBA Provincial Collective Agreement, the parties agreed to amend the language of Article 27 and limit the number of straight time hours an employee may have in their overtime bank at any time.
Subsequently, the parties agreed to increase the maximum amount of straight time hours that may be banked to 150 hours for the term of the 2019-2022 NBA Collective Agreement. The parties agree that either party can raise the issue in the next round of collective bargaining.
As of May 27, 2019, employees are not permitted to accumulate hours in excess of 150 hours. For clarity, any employee who currently has more than 150 hours in their OT bank cannot bank additional hours until their balance falls below 150 hours, at which point their bank may not then exceed the 150-hour maximum.
All accumulated hours shall remain in the employee's OT bank and may be taken as time off, or pay, prior to September 30, 2019. Any hours taken as time off must be taken at a time that is mutually agreed to by the employer and employee.
On September 30, 2019, all banked hours exceeding the 150-hour maximum will be paid out. No employee will have more than 150 hours in their OT bank as of October 1, 2019. Going forward, employees will not be subject to the bi-annual payout; accumulated OT will remain in the bank until such time as the employee requests a payout or books time off in lieu.
Employees who are offered and accept a straight-time shift within twenty-four (24) hours of the start of the shift shall be paid a shift premium of $2.00 per hour for each hour worked.
Any part-time or casual employee who is offered and accepts a straight-time shift within twenty-four (24) hours of the start of that shift, regardless of when the vacancy occurred, will be paid $2.00 per hour for each hour worked.
Shifts previously offered outside of the twenty-four (24) hour period, but not accepted until within twenty-four (24) hours of the start of the shift, are not eligible for the premium.
The intent is to ensure that Employers are actively working to fill vacancies as they arise.
A nurse phones in sick for her night shift (7 pm that evening) at 5 am. The staffing office opens at 5:30 am, retrieves the call and begins the call-out process. If a nurse accepts the straight-time shift, the premium would be applicable.
The Employer is notified of a vacancy 36 hours before the start of the shift but is unable to begin the call-out process until within 24 hours of the start of the shift. If a nurse accepts the straight-time shift, the premium would be applicable.
Staffing office is made aware of a shift needed to be replaced three weeks in advance. Attempts to pre-book the shift were not successful so moved to the short call process. Staffing office is able to find a nurse to fill the shift 18 hours before the start of the shift. The nurse accepting the shift had been offered the shift during the original call out (i.e. greater than 24 hours before the shift start) and therefore is not eligible for the premium.
Staffing office is made aware of a shift needing to be replaced three weeks in advance. The staffing office does not attempt to pre-book the shift and it moves to the short call process. The first attempt of fill this shift is less than 24 hours from the start of the shift and a nurse accepts the straight-time shift. The premium is applicable as the employer did not offer the shift to any staff prior to 24 hours before the start of the shift.
All regular employees in community-based services will receive fifty dollars ($50.00) per month as business allowance.
Effective April 1, 2019, all regular employees in community-based services will receive fifty dollars ($50.00) per month as business allowance.
The parties recognize that there has been mixed practice on pro-ration of allowances for community-based staff, however this allowance is not pro-rated. All retroactive claims will be paid though the BCNU 2019 grievance settlement fund.
Workforce adjustments are necessary to address immediate (short-term) staffing requirements. Staffing requirements are determined by patient care needs and staff scope and skill mix.
The NBA and Health Authorities/PHC, through the strategic nurse staffing committee (SNSC), will develop a collaborative process for local level managers and in-charge nurses to determine staffing requirements that address short term patient care needs.
The local processes will:
1. Provide point-of-care, real-time decision making that utilizes nurses' professional judgement;
2. Be responsive, clear, concise, objective; and
3. Ensure the outcome is documented.
The Parties agree that short term staffing decisions are best made at the local level, utilizing the professional judgement of nurses. The Parties have agreed to develop Patient Care Needs Assessment processes, supported by appropriate tool(s) and documentation, to be utilized jointly by charge nurses and managers in collaboratively determining short term staffing requirements.
While these specific tools can be helpful in identifying replacement needs, the intention of the Parties is more comprehensive – to collaboratively determine the total staffing complement needed to meet existing and anticipated patient care needs in the short term. The tool(s) are intended to support that collaborative decision-making process. The Health Authorities/PHC will consult with the union on the process and tools, through their SNSC.
A collaborative patient care needs assessment process:
1. Supports the assessment of patient care needs and staffing requirements on a shift by shift basis.
2. Provides the ability to rapidly assess patient care needs at any point in a shift, as needs change.
3. Requires a collaborative discussion and decision making between the manager (or designate) and the in-charge nurse, supported by the appropriate assessment tool(s).
4. Considers all patients on the unit/program.
5. Utilizes the professional judgement of the manager and nurse, rather than arbitrary cut-offs.
6. Integrates pre-established staffing guidelines for the routine, regular functioning of the unit.
7 Integrates unit/department/program considerations (e.g., skill mix and experience of staff, anticipated patient turnover, patient census).
8. Considers workload factors other than simply the number and complexity of patients on the unit.
A patient care needs assessment tool:
1. Provides a framework for collaborative decision making, including providing guidance for immediate staffing adjustments on a unit over the span of a shift length and would be utilized as the conditions change during the shift / in preparation for known care needs in the upcoming shift.
2. Provides clear definitions of the measures included (e.g., acuity and complexity).
3. Includes criteria that are clearly reflective of the defined measures and that provide a clear picture of patient care needs.
4. Supports identification of a clear understanding of the required staffing complement, at the beginning of and during any given shift, to meet the identified patient care needs.
5. Integrates comprehensive point-of-care nursing assessment of each patient's care needs, inclusive of physical, emotional, spiritual, socioeconomic, dependency, family supports and other relevant needs.
6. Supports alignment to other tools such as CTAS, Palliative Performance Scale but does not replace these resources for patient assessment and assignment of staff as appropriate.
The parties acknowledge the importance of fair and equitable master work schedules and recognize that there are employees who would like the opportunity to eliminate or reduce the occurrence of six (6) consecutive shifts.
To that end, the parties have agreed to the following:
(1) Where a master work schedule contains six (6) consecutive shifts in a block, and the majority of regular employees request a change, in writing, that limits the block to no more than five (5) consecutive shifts:
a. The Employer will facilitate the work required in consultation with the employees on the master work schedule to reach agreement on a fair and equitable master rotation that will satisfy the needs of the employees in the same job code on the same master work schedule, meet the requirements of this Agreement, and meet the operational requirements.
b. The consultation will include overall consideration of the impact on the master work schedule, including but not limited to the following:
i. Shift length;
ii. Full-time equivalent;
iii. Weekend distribution; and
iv. Vacation planning.
(2) The parties recognize the complexity of this significant change for both the employees and employers. Therefore, we agree that this work will be augmented with the following.
a. By April 1, 2019, the Employer will, in collaboration with the NBA, create a standardized process with guidelines for employers and employees.
b. Financial costs associated to the elimination of six (6) day rotations will be allocated and administered jointly by HEABC and the NBA. This commitment will be ongoing and shall be allotted to the health employers based upon the actual costs incurred in enabling the change. Funding will be jointly provided as follows:
i. $2 million for 2019/20;
ii. $3 million for 2020/21; and
iii. $4 million for 2021/22 and ongoing.
c. The NBA and HEABC will allocate $1,000,000 annually to hire and maintain full time rotation and scheduling officers to assist in facilitating the rotation change.
Guidelines for Implementation
Employees on a master work schedule (MWS), who are in the same job code, and who wish to reduce or eliminate six (6) day blocks from their MWS, may conduct a vote to determine if a majority (i.e., more than half) of the regular status nurses on the master schedule wish to make a schedule change. Where a majority agrees, the request to change the schedule, will be submitted to their manager, in writing. The employees may seek the assistance from their steward for this process or appoint a member designate(s).
In consultation with the employees (and steward if requested), the Employer will facilitate the work required to reduce or eliminate six (6) shift blocks, following the process below:
(1) Consult with all regular status employees from the unit, listen to their ideas for a future MWS and present for their consideration the potential options for altering the MWS.
a. MWS options may include:
i. Moving to shift length patterns with combinations of shift lengths (e.g. 7.5, 8 hour or longer shift lengths).
ii. Moving to an extended workday shift pattern, per the Extended Work-day memorandum.
iii. Canvassing all regular employees on the unit to determine if a change of FTE/status is a consideration in order to facilitate employee requests. This approach may require the creation of additional positions on the unit.
iv. Waiving NBA collective agreement considerations (e.g. weekend distribution).
v. Other considerations that are aligned with the NBA Collective Agreement.
b. The MWS must:
i. Be developed with the objective of minimizing or eliminating the number of six (6) consecutive shift blocks;
ii. Meet employer operational and funding requirements (the parties recognize that funding is available under the collective agreement to cover cost increases, as outlined below);
iii. Be fair and equitable; and
iv. Maintain all collective agreement rights except by mutual agreement between the Union and the Employer.
(2) The employer will consult with the unit employees and/or their steward/designate(s) to determine a process for developing MWS options which will be voted on by the staff.
The Employer and the employees (must be a majority) will agree on one of the following processes:
a. Employees Wish to Develop an MWS
Should the unit employees (and steward if requested) wish to develop an MWS, they will be provided with all the necessary information to allow them to create an option (number of staff per shift, unit DTA's and limitations, etc.). The MSW must meet the criteria above.
Once developed, the MWS will be provided to the employer for review and feedback. If the MWS meets the requirements above, all regular employees will vote, in a confidential manner, on the choice of adopting the new MWS or remaining with their current MWS.
b. Employees Request that the Employer Develop an MWS
If employees do not wish to develop an MWS, the employer will create a new MWS, using the criteria above.
This MWS will be presented to employees for review and feedback. Feedback may result in changes to the proposed MSW.
Once finalized, all regular employees will vote, in a confidential manner, to adopt the new MWS or remain with their current MWS.
Note: The employer and the employees may agree to a variation of 2A and 2B which allows both the employer and the employees to each create a rotation; one of which would be adopted by way of a confidential vote.
(3) To adopt a new rotation a majority vote (more than half) is required. Where a rotation introduces eleven (11) hour shifts, the employees must vote 90% in favour of the new rotation for it to adopted.
(4) Timelines for schedule creation and implementation will be mutually agreed upon between the parties.
For the purposes of this MOA:
- Changes to the MWS apply only to members on the same unit and within the same job code.
- Changes in FTE +/- 0.08 do not trigger displacement.
- Changes in FTE greater than+/- 0.08, or changes in status, will trigger displacement.
- Where displacement is triggered, an employee can waive displacement and select an available line in the MSW.
- Employees who choose displacement cannot bump into the rotation as a displacement option following completion of the line selection.
- Employees who choose displacement are required to accept a comparable vacancy before receiving bump options under Article 19.01(2).
Resources to Support Master Work Schedule Development and Change
HEABC will create resources, including hiring staff with scheduling expertise, to support employers and groups of staff to develop options for new master work schedules which reduce or eliminate six (6) consecutive shift blocks in master work schedules. HEABC will work closely with NBA staff in supporting this work.
Funding is available in each of the three (3) fiscal years during the term of this collective agreement, to support the costs to employers for some changes. These funds are limited to the amount committed. HEABC and the NBA will create a joint process to support this MOA, which will, in part, determine a priority process for distribution of available funds.
Within thirty (30) days on signing this interpretation, the parties will identify two (2) acute units, two (2) community units and two (2) long-term care units to pilot the process to develop schedule changes, as per this Joint Interpretation.
If you are NOT receiving updates, news, and events emailed to you, log in to the BCNU Member Portal and update your information.