Protests which targeted health-care facilities this week were demoralizing and overwhelming for many of our members and for the patients they care for. In some locations there was not only severe psychological injury, but also physical harm inflicted on staff who are beyond exhausted at this stage in the ongoing pandemic and the opioid and climate crises.
“People do have the right to protest but they do not have the right to harass, disrespect and threaten the safety of any BCNU member or other health-care worker," said Cody Hedman, CEO of the BC Nurses’ Union. BCNU is following up with all health authorities to ensure better protections are provided in the future.
Every nurse and all health-care workers have the right to a physically and psychologically safe workplace.
It is unfortunate that vaccinations have been made into a very divisive political issue in BC and around the world. BCNU strongly encourages nurses, other health-care workers, and the public to be vaccinated against communicable diseases as a preventive measure and in accordance with the most recent scientific evidence. We encourage everyone to get accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccination provides an important layer of protection against many communicable diseases, and BCNU believes that education is the most appropriate means of achieving high vaccination rates for nurses, other health-care workers, and the public. For more information, please review our position statement.
BCNU will firmly oppose any measure that may take nurses away from providing care and therefore contribute to an already critical shortage of nurses in BC.
Aman Grewal, BCNU’s vice president says, “BCNU’s members have given more and more to try and care for their patients during this pandemic. Nurses are ‘done asking’ and it’s time for health authorities and the provincial government to provide some real support and respect for our members during this worsening nursing shortage in BC. Ultimately all British Columbians will suffer if they do not.”
BC’s nurses have now written well over 3,000 letters to their MLAs and BCNU is so thankful that nurses are continuing to advocate for better care and safe practice, despite the dire circumstances they face, across this province and in every type of nursing practice. In the next few weeks BCNU will be expanding our Speak Up and Speak Out campaign to engage the public in supporting nurses and our call for safe care.
BCNU’s elected council, stewards and staff will continue to take your concerns forward every day, at your local worksite and with health authority and government leaders, to push for the change that we all know is long overdue.
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