B.C. Nurses' Union president Gayle Duteil speaks to a rally at the B.C. legislature

B.C. nurses ratify five-year contract

B.C. Nurses' Union president Gayle Duteil says deal gives nurses more say in health policy, staffing levels

B.C. nurses have voted 85 per cent to accept a contract with the provincial government that deals with staff shortages.

B.C. Nurses’ Union president Gayle Duteil said Wednesday the new deal gives nurses a greater say in shaping health care policy, and represents improved safety and violence prevention.

Staffing levels have been the key issue in the lengthy negotiations, which produced an interim deal in May 2015 to settle 1,600 union grievances filed over staff vacancies. That included $5 million for specialty training and a $2 million “grievance settlement fund” to pay bonuses to nurses who worked short-handed.

Health Minister Terry Lake said some of the 1,500 new nurse positions in the agreement are filled by casual employees moving to full-time, and others are new graduates. Shortages remain in specialty areas such as operating rooms, where an additional $5 million is included for about 850 nurses to take specialty training.

The agreement includes $2 million for rural and remote areas that the BCNU says could be used for housing assistance or tuition relief to make positions more attractive.

Lake said the use of “tele-health” links has resulted in a significant reduction in trips to major health care centres to see specialists. And in April, the government announced expansion of its community paramedic program to 73 communities, replacing on-call paramedics with full-time jobs that include home visits and nursing home support.

Nurses are the last major provincial employee group to settle under the B.C. government’s “economic stability mandate,” which provides a share of economic growth that exceeds independent forecasts. The nurses’ deal also includes a 5.5 per cent wage increase over five years, similar to other public sector wage settlements.

The contract covers 45,000 registered, psychiatric and licensed practical nurses represented by the BCNU, the Health Sciences Association and the Hospital Employees’ Union.

 

Just Posted

Good fencing makes good neighbours— especially when your neighbours are bears

Workshop in Pass Creek this weekend to promote benefits of proper protection for livestock

Castlegar daycare selected for universal childcare pilot program

MLA Katrine Conroy presents letter of acceptance to the program to the Children’s Centre at Selkirk College

Trail police release image of liquor store robber

The video surveillance image shows the robber aiming a black gun at the store’s clerk

Columbia Avenue paving scheduled for weekend

Paving on Castlegar’s main thoroughfare will take place in a few days, weather permitting.

Kootenay region posts 10-per-cent return rate on electoral reform ballots

As of Nov. 13, only 5.3 per cent of ballots had been returned province-wide

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Most Read