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Update on current ARNBC/BCNU dispute

  • Bulletin
BCNU is always interested in working collaboratively to protect the rights of nurses

​Both the Association of Registered Nurses of BC (ARNBC) and the College of Registered Nurses of BC (CRNBC) have posted comments regarding two actions that are before the courts. 

When CRNBC became the licensing body, solely responsible for RN regulation, BCNU assumed a greater role in promoting professional nursing issues. BCNU has always acknowledged that nurses not represented by the BCNU, for example managers and academics, would need a professional voice and were prepared to enter into dialogue with all RN organizations to determine how best to achieve this. However, this offer was not acted upon.

In September 2013, BCNU initiated a legal challenge as a result of CRNBC’s decision to transfer $1.5 million to ARNBC to help fund their start-up costs, not for the purpose of purchasing professional liability insurance. The $1.5 million dollars was a surplus of professional liability insurance premiums paid for by nurses over the course of 20+ years. BCNU says that those assets are held in trust for BC nurses and cannot be used for other purposes.  

This lawsuit is about more than just the $1.5 million already improperly transferred to ARNBC. The BCNU is fighting to protect BC nurses’ interests in all of the assets related to the liability premiums. In February 2013, CRNBC showed liability insurance assets of $5 million; a year later there were only $2.5 million in assets remaining. 

ARNBC and CRNBC’s position is that BC nurses have no claim to the insurance premium surpluses and have no say over how the $1.5 million or any of the other assets should be handled. CRNBC did not allow nurses to vote on the transfer.  

BCNU is always interested in working collaboratively to protect the rights of nurses. Unfortunately, ARNBC has not shown a willingness to include BC nurses in important decisions.    

For example, in December 2014, the ARNBC conducted a survey of BC nurses which asked several questions about the BCNU. This was done without BCNU’s knowledge or input.

In February 2015, ARNBC scheduled an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held in Kamloops at the same time that the BCNU was holding its annual convention in Vancouver.  Hundreds of BCNU members at the convention asked to have the ARNBC’s meeting postponed or alternatively to be allowed to participate by video-conference. ARNBC not only denied these requests, it also denied voting rights to BCNU members who travelled to Kamloops in an attempt to ensure that the interests of BC nurses were fairly represented. Such actions do not reflect a willingness to collaborate.

ARNBC has referred to a recent petition filed in B.C. Supreme Court by two BCNU (and ARNBC) members: Liz Ilczaszyn and Michelle Sordal. This was done to hold ARNBC accountable for an admitted failure to follow its own bylaws and the improper election of directors, and to ensure that all registered nurses in BC have the right to participate and vote in the business of ARNBC.  

The BCNU supports the efforts of all our members who have stood up and demanded that ARNBC hear and respect the voices of all BC nurses.  

BCNU encourages nurses​ to vote and believes nurses should vote based on what they feel is best for the interests of all nurses. To ensure your voice is heard, you may sign up to vote or learn more about participating in the Annual General Meeting by emailing admin@arnbc.ca 

You can find out more about this issue by reading the following bulletins:

​BCNU’s historical concerns and positions about this issue can also be found in BCNU Update editions: July 2010 p.3; October 2011 p.8 and February 2012 p.16.


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