B.C. Nurses' Union president Gayle Duteil speaks to rally at B.C. legislature Thursday. Their contract expired more than a year ago.

Nurses push for new hires at legislature rally

BCNU says "grievalanche" over 10,000 unstaffed shifts has moved Health MInister Terry Lake to action

VICTORIA – Members of the B.C. Nurses’ Union brought a sea of pink umbrellas to the B.C. legislature Thursday to call on the B.C. government to honour a provision that requires health authorities to replace absent nurses.

BCNU president Gayle Duteil said 2012 contract provision replacing absent nurses can’t be implemented without more registered nurses hired to provide the relief.

“It’s a sad fact that we don’t have enough nurses to deliver safe care for meeting the staffing mandated by our collective agreement,” Duteil said. “We don’t have enough nurses to backfill vacancies, to backfill absences, and we don’t have enough nurses to meet the daily spikes in acuity.”

The recent settlement of 1,600 union grievances for staffing includes $5 million for specialty nurse training, $1 million to support increased RN staffing and $2 million in “grievance settlement funds” paid to nurses affected by staffing shortages. The staffing fund is available to licensed practical nurses who want to upgrade their training.

Health Minister Terry Lake said the interim agreement is a step towards renewing the latest BCNU contract, which expired in March 2014.

“We worked through a mediator in the last month or so and came to an agreement, so I think we’re in a good place to work towards our new contract,” Lake said.

“We recognize there are some areas like specialist nursing where we do have challenges, and we have committed some of our funding to recruit and train more specialist nurses, and more community nurses as well.”

Nurses cheered as Duteil reminded them that their “grievalanche” had an effect. She said the union documented 10,000 shifts that were not filled during a six-week period at health facilities around the province, and represent only the “tip of the iceberg.”

NDP leader John Horgan addressed the rally, promising that his 2017 election platform will put nurses “front and centre in the health care model.”

 

Just Posted

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Most long-weekend rain has already fallen

A mix of sun and cloud is expected for the last two days of the the Victoria Day weekend.

Update: Mother dead, youth in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Sandy Point Campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Penticton Indian Band councillor trying for federal seat

Joan Phillip acclaimed as NDP candidate for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Former Greyhound bus drivers gather in the Okanagan for one last hurrah

Bash kicks off Friday in Penticton and runs until Sunday

Some South Okanagan students are $1,000 richer

Million Dollar Bursary Program offers bursaries each year to Interior Savings’ young members

Weather holds up for Rutland May Days

60th annual May Day midway, market and entertainment saw hundreds of attendees

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

South Okanagan runners take top spots in Peach City RunFest

Both the top male and female half-marathon winners were from Penticton

Former Greyhound Canada employees gather in Okanagan to say a final farewell

“Greyhound may take our jobs but they will never take our friendships,” says former bus driver

Kelowna firefighters douse blaze in hedges

The cause of the fire on Renfrew Road is under investigation.

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

Okanagan Springtime Regatta draws more than 50 sailboats

Sailors treated to windy, excellent long weekend conditions on Okanagan Lake in Kelowna

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read