Major issues are on the bargaining table for HSABC/NUPGE nursing members.
Vancouver (09 March 2016) — Talks between the Nurses Bargaining Association (NBA) and the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC) for a new collective agreement are in high gear. The Health Sciences Association of B.C. is a member of the NBA. A second week of intensive discussions between the parties is focused on resolving issues like job security and contracting out, fixing the Pharmacare tie-in, and integrating Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) fully into the agreement.
Nurses focused on retention of staff working in the community, improvements to the Pharmacy Tie-in and maintaining benefits
HSABC/NUPGE's two representatives at the bargaining table continue to advocate strongly for the issues that the Registered Practical Nurses identified as their top priorities: addressing the loss to nurses as a result of the Pharmacare Tie-In agreed to in the last contract, and defending benefits. HSABC/NUPGE has remained firm that putting a cap on benefits like massage therapy and physiotherapy is not acceptable to RPNs.
HSABC/NUPGE has also continued to advocate for recognition of psychiatric nursing as a nursing specialty.
B.C. government moving health care from hospitals to community — more nurses will be required
Items of priority for the NBA are addressing the lack of job security for nurses in the community and in long-term care and for affiliates, as well as improving the minimal job security in acute care. With the Ministry committed to transitioning as much care delivery as possible from hospitals to the community, it’s essential that there is an increase of nursing positions in the community.
Another priority for the NBA is negotiating improvements to the flawed Pharmacare Tie-in, to restore drug access to a level closer to what nurses enjoyed previously. Full LPN integration is a key demand for the NBA.
This is the most intense push towards a new agreement since bargaining started up again last fall.
The NBA collective agreement expired in March 2014.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE