Members Vote in Favour of New Provincial Collective Agreement
Members of the Nurses’ Bargaining Association (NBA) have successfully ratified a new three-year collective agreement with BC’s health employers, effective April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2025. In addition to the terms of the contract, nurses will now see the benefits of hundreds of millions of dollars in funding agreements reached between the NBA and the provincial government.
In total, 40,526 BCNU members cast a ballot; 61% of NBA members voted in favour of the tentative agreement reached on March 31, 2023. The contract applies to nurses working in acute care, community, public health, long-term care, and other settings within the province’s health-care system.
The agreement includes the following general wage increases for all employees:
- Year 1: $0.25 /hr plus 3.24%, retroactive to April 1, 2022
- Year 2: 6.75%, retroactive to April 1, 2023
- Year 3: 2% increase, plus a potential cost-of-living adjustment (to a maximum of 3%).
In addition to the general wage increase, the collective agreement includes a significant wage schedule redesign that provides meaningful wage gains including new increment steps at years 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30. There are also significant increases to shift premiums, on-call rates, responsibility pay and isolation travel allowance.
The bargaining committee focused on addressing members’ top five priorities:
- improvements to wages and premiums;
- minimum nurse patient staffing ratios;
- greater flexibility and leaves;
- workplace safety, and
- improvements to benefits
The agreement also includes significant improvements in job flexibility and access to leaves, as well as investments in workplace health and safety. New contract language will also advance the principles of diversity, equity and inclusivity to ensure all BCNU members are welcome in their workplace. A genuine commitment to truth and reconciliation, cultural safety and strategies to address Indigenous-specific racism in the health-care system are also incorporated in the agreement.
The ratification of the collective agreement secures the following historic funding agreements reached between the NBA and provincial government:
- $750 million dollars to support the establishment of minimum nurse-patient ratios ($200M, $250M and $300M ongoing), making BC the first province in Canada to implement this transformative staffing model
- $100 million dollars to establish a nurse support fund and career laddering opportunities for LPNs to become RNs.
- $108.6 million dollars in ongoing funding to support retention strategies that include, but are not limited to, mentorship and preceptorship incentives.