B.C.’s 42,000 nurses have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new five year deal with the province.
This new comprehensive agreement unites all nurses: LPNs, RNs and RPNs across all sectors.
Gayle Duteil, the President of the B.C. Nurses Union says members voted 85 per cent in support of the deal, which gives a 5.5 per cent wage increase over five years.
“Our contract has been expired now for two years. And one of the positives of this new contract is we will be the first one out in the next go around. We turn the “me too” clause into a “me first” clause.”
But with staffing and workload continuing to be a big issue, she’s happy to see around 850 new specialty training seats added each year.
“That is probably a tripling of the funding that’s been available in the last number of years, and of course we’re left with problems of that; impacting patients with the cancellation of operating rooms.”
The BCNU is still waiting for more than 2,000 nurses promised in the last deal.
Duteil adds that the new contract also gives nurses a stronger voice in setting policy, as it comes with the addition of two “secretariat” positions.
The deal expires in 2019.