Members of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) gathered in Victoria this week to discuss the ongoing Health Accord negotiations and various labour relations and professional practice issues. They were joined by representatives from the B.C Hospital Employees' Union.
Victoria, BC (16 Jan. 2012) – Licensed and Registered Practical Nurses (LPNs/RPNs), who are members of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), met earlier this week in Victoria to discuss public policy, labour relations and professional practice issues.
They were joined by LPN representatives from the B.C Hospital Employees’ Union (HEU).
Three important issues discussed at the meeting included:
- Strategies to ensure LPNs/RPNs receive recognition and respect for the important independent role they play as members of a professional nursing team.
- The evolution of LPN/RPN practice and regulatory changes that impact entry to practice and scope of practice.
- The ongoing negotiations between the federal, provincial and territorial governments for a new Health Accord in Canada.
|LPNs/RPNs gather in Victoria for a two-day meeting|
Health Accord negotiations
Canada’s Premiers were meeting in Victoria at the same time to discuss the negotiations for a new Health Accord.
The NUPGE and HEU LPNs/RPNs reviewed background information on the Health Accord negotiations.
They also participated in public events that were organized to share information and influence the Premiers discussions.
The LPNs/RPNs discussed key principles that should govern a new Health Accord.
They adopted the following statement:
Key principles to govern a new Health Accord
Canada’s Premiers must reject the Harper government’s unilateral health funding proposal and the abdication of its leadership role in Canada’s most cherished social program. Premiers must continue to insist that the Harper government gets back to the negotiating table.
There are two years remaining on the current Health Accord so there is still time for the federal and provincial governments to engage in a constructive dialogue about a new Health Accord.
In that regard, Licensed and Registered Practical Nurses across Canada urge the Premiers and Prime Minister to adopt the following key principles to govern a new Health Accord:
- Canada’s Medicare is based on the core values of equality, empathy and shared responsibility; it speaks volumes about the character of our country and it is an identifying mark of what it means to be Canadian; a new Health Accord must build on, not undermine, these core values.
- Canada’s public, not-for-profit Medicare system is more cost effective than a private, for-profit system and, at the same time, provides higher quality care; a new Health Accord must not jeopardize the fundamental economic advantages of Canada’s single-payer, not-for-profit system.
- Canada’s Medicare is financially sustainable; public health spending has been remarkably stable for the last 20 years and is in line with all other wealthy industrialized countries; the fastest growing costs in health care are on the private expenditure side, especially prescription drug costs; a new Health Accord must take action to reduce soaring private health care costs.
- The federal government must play a strong funding and leadership role in health care; a new Health Accord must ensure the federal government enforces the principles of the Canada Health Act; the federal government must honour their election promise of a 6% funding escalator every year going forward; and the federal government must stop spending billions on corporate tax cuts, mega-jails and fighter jets and instead invest this money in health care to ensure Canadians get the care they need, when and where they need it.
- Canada’s Medicare can be strengthened through innovations within the public system, not privatization; a new Health Accord must ensure the system is expanded to cover the full continuum of care including home care, long-term care, pharmacare, and mental health services; a new Health Accord will recognize the value of primary care reform and multi-disciplinary health teams working together.
- In order to strengthen the delivery of health care in Canada, a new Health Accord must encourage health care employers to utilize all health care workers to full scope of practice, particularly Licensed and Registered Practical Nurses; this would help to improve the quality of care and to ensure the cost effective delivery services.
Canada’s Premiers and the Prime Minister must proudly stand up for Canada’s single-payer, not-for-profit system because it is the triumph of values and economics, and they must ensure that any changes contained in a new Health Accord reinforce this commitment across the country.
Adopted January 16, 2012
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 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