RNs - British Columbia

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Surgeries cancelled for lack of nurses

Shortage of critical-care staff could become chronic problem. Susan Lazaruk & Joe Couturee, Vancouver Province, June 23, 2008 A shortage of intensive-care nurses at BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver has forced the postponement of 50 surgeries since April 1. The number of postponements in the past 12 weeks matches the total in the previous 12 months. "We've been through rough times before," said Dr. Geoffrey Blair, the hospital's surgeon-in-chief. "This one seems to be rougher." ... Surgeries

Nurses hopeful talks will benefit all parties

Government appointment to deal with Bill 29 positive move forward.
British Columbia Nurses’ Union, August 2, 2007 The appointment of Paul
Straszak, Associate Deputy Minister of Labour, to steer talks about the
recent Supreme Court decision striking down provisions in BC's Bill 29
is a positive move according to BC's nurses. This June the Supreme
Court of Canada ruled that sections of Bill 29, the Health and Social
Services Delivery Improvement Act, violated the Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms. Sections that restricted and gutted the bargaining
rights of health care workers were struck down and the government was
given one year to address the repercussions of the decision. ... Nurses

$4M to retrain older BC nurses

CBC News, April 2, 2007 Retraining nurses on the verge of retirement will be the focus of a pilot project funded by the federal and BC governments. Ottawa is putting in $3 million and Victoria $1 million in a move aimed at keeping nurses over the age of 55, and their valuable experience, in the health care system. BC has the oldest nursing workforce in the country, with a quarter of its nurses over 55 and approaching retirement. Monte Solberg, the federal minister of human resources and social development, said the three-year project will be a model for the country. ... $4M

Tofino Hospital Still Short Of Nurses

Keven Drews, Westcoaster.ca, February 20, 2007 Tofino General Hospital still faces a nurses’ shortage more than four months after the Vancouver Island Health Authority announced recruitment plans. Rhon L’Heureux, chair of the Pacific region for the BC Nurses Union, said Monday that the hospital’s full-time nurses are so overworked that casual nurses are nearly working full time. “They’re doing a lot of overtime,” said L’Heureux. “They’re getting burned out, frustrated.” When regular nurses go on holidays, he added, the hospital will be short because there’s not enough casual nurses. ... Tofino

Hospitals' use of temp nurses angers union

Money would be better spent on retention and recruitment, labour leaders say. Elianna Lev, Canadian Press, January 22, 2007 Vancouver - The union representing the province's nurses is raising its concern about hospitals using temp agencies to fill shortages in emergency rooms and critical care units. The BC Nurses Union said nurses from outside the province are being flown to British Columbia and paid double time to compensate for a lack of staff in hospitals. While working here, the temporary nurses also have their meals and accommodation paid for, in addition to their wages. The union has raised concerns about the situation to government for years, but little has been being done to address nursing recruitment and retention issues, union representative Melanie Leckovic said Saturday. ... Hospitals

New deal for prison nurses

Dan Ferguson, Black Press, October 18, 2006 Two days of talks produced a sweetened deal for nurses at the 112-inmate Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge and nine other BC prisons and trial remand centres. The tentative deal improves on the previous offer rejected by the 220 members of the BC Nurses Union in September by providing better pay for some staff in the bargaining unit and improved sick leave benefits. ... New

Talks resume in prison nurses dispute

Dan Ferguson, Chilliwack Progress, October 8, 2006 Bargainers for nurses at the 215-inmate Surrey Pretrial Services Centre and nine other BC prisons and trial remand centres will resume contract talks with their employer next week. Two days of talks are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday between the BC Nurses Union (BCNU) and Joye Morris Health Care Services of Victoria, a private company that provides medical services for inmates of several provincial facilities. Last month, the 220 BCNU members turned down an offer that would have hiked their pay by 14.2 per cent over four years, saying it didn't do enough to deal with their sick leave concerns. ... Talks

BCGEU supports striking nurses despite labour board order

Restrictions obligate other correctional workers to report for duty while jail nurses are off the job. NUPGE, August 18, 2006 Vancouver - The British Columbia Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) is offering its full support to nurses, social workers, pharmaceutical technicians and clerical workers who have walked off the job at provincial jails in a dispute over wages, benefits and other issues. The nurses have been trying to negotiate a new agreement since May. Nine provincial jails are affected by the job action along with the Vancouver Jail. A BC Labour Relations Board order on Aug. 14 prevents correctional staff members represented by the BCGEU from joining picket lines in sympathy with the striking nurses. ... BCGEU

BC prison nurses launch work-to-rule campaign

CBC News, August 17, 2006 Nurses and health care staff at 10 provincial jails in BC began job action Wednesday night in a dispute over wages and benefits. They are refusing to perform such tasks as answering phones, organizing charts, restocking supply rooms and maintaining files. The 220 members of the BC Nurses Union are employed by Joye Morris Health Services Inc., which is contracted to provide health services to the prison system. They have been without a contract since March. ... BC

Cancer cluster: BC Nurses’ Union wants answers

Trudy Beyak, Abbotsford News, May 30, 2006

Exactly what cancer-causing chemicals were hospital employees exposed to?

BC Nurses’ Union (BCNU) representative Linda Pipe said yesterday that the union is pressing the health authority to do a historical investigation on Mission Memorial Hospital.

“We want a historical investigation into everything we were exposed to in the past. We want an investigation into all of the chemicals we were exposed to, the radiation levels and the fumes from the incinerator,” said Pipe, Mission Memorial BCNU representative. ... Cancer

Nurses to speak out for safety needles at WorkSafeBC public hearings

BCNU says WorkSafeBC's proposal for reducing needlestick and other medical sharps injuries don't go far enough to protect workers from exposure to infectious blood and body fluids.
British Columbia Nurses' Union, May 10, 2006

BC nurses will be demanding tough new rules to protect workers from deadly needlestick injuries when they speak out in Kelowna tomorrow, May 11, at the first of WorkSafeBC's public hearings into its proposed new sharps regulations.

The province-wide WorkSafeBC (formerly WCB) public hearings will also be held on May 15 in Prince George, May 17 in Nanaimo and May 26 in Vancouver. ... Nurses

Doctors and nurses get contract

Tom Fletcher, Black Press, May 9, 2006

Victoria – Doctors and registered nurses have overwhelmingly ratified new employment agreements with the BC government, giving both groups a say over workload issues and ensuring labour peace in the health care sector for at least four years.

The BC Medical Association voted 94 per cent to endorse a six-year agreement, after lengthy negotiations and a rejection vote last year that centred on extra compensation for family doctors who provide primary care for chronically ill patients. ... Doctors and nurses

Nurses launch TV and radio ads

Meant to highlight determination to cooperate on solutions for improving patient care. Now that their new provincial contract is ratified, they're ready to work with Victoria to make sure measures to reduce nurses' workload, and improve working conditions are implemented.
British Columbia Nurses' Union, May 8, 2006

To celebrate National Nursing Week (May 8-14) and publicize contract gains aimed at improving patient care, the BC Nurses' Union is launching a series of television and radio ads.

The ads - that begin running today (May 8) - highlight the positive work of Registered Nurses in seeking solutions to health care concerns. ... Nurses

Nurses ratify new contract by 97.1 per cent

British Columbia Nurses' Union, May 5, 2006

Agreement includes a commitment by the provincial government to address nurses' workloads, including the use of strategic teams for immediate solutions to pressing workload concerns

Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses have voted 97.1 per cent to ratify their new provincial collective agreement with health employers.

The margin includes results from the British Columbia Nurses' Union, the Union of Psychiatric Nurses and the Health Sciences Association. ... Nurses

Nurses reach tentative deal with health employers

Proposed agreement provides significant gains for nurses in key areas of workload and compensation, includes signing bonus.
British Columbia Nurses’ Union, March 31, 2006

The Nurses' Bargaining Association has reached a tentative agreement with the Health Employers' Association on a new contract that provides significant gains for nurses in key areas of workload and compensation.

The NBA is recommending acceptance of the agreement and will be taking it out to the members for ratification. ... Nurses

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