Nurses reach tentative agreement with health employers
The negotiating team of the B.C. Nurses Union have reached a tentative agreement with health employers on a new provincial contract that addresses their members’ main concerns — providing safe patient care through safe staffing, enhancing job security and improving compensation a press release said Wednesday.
“We are pleased we were able to work constructively with health employers to address our members’ major concerns,” said Debra McPherson, president of the BC Nurses’ Union, the largest union in the bargaining group, which also include the Health Sciences Association and the Union of Psychiatric Nurses.
“I’m looking forward to discussing the agreement with our members starting next week.
The Nurses’ Bargaining Association reached the agreement in a very tough fiscal climate, with the provincial government insisting on its cooperative gains mandate for public sector bargaining.
If the agreement is ratified by members, it will cover more than 32,000 Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses across BC.
“This agreement offers solutions that benefit B.C.’s health system and help ensure future sustainability, while keeping patient’s needs at the forefront,” said Health Minister Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid in a statement on the BC government website.
“I would like to thank both parties for working collaboratively to reach an agreement that is both good for families and fiscally responsible.”
The two-year agreement provides for modest improvements to compensation, as well as the addition of new nurses to the system.
“This is a good first step in the collective bargaining process,” said Finance Minister Michael de Jong.
“This tentative agreement meets the terms of the co-operative gains mandate established at the outset of negotiations. It provides for modest improvements without adding costs for taxpayers and without sacrificing services to British Columbians.”
Details of the agreement will be released after the union has an opportunity to present it to a province-wide group of regional executives and stewards on October 2.