RNs work-to-rule job action set to start Sat. Oct. 24 #98-47

Bargaining bulletin

Phone HEU bargaining hotline for up-to-date details on job action

Faced with a logjam at the bargaining table, more than 25,000 registered nurses have served 72 hours strike notice on members of the Health Employers Association of B.C. which will come into effect as of 1 p.m. Sat. Oct. 24.

At that time, registered nurses will implement a work-to-rule campaign in which they’ll focus exclusively on direct patient care. Any duties that are normally part of nurses’ jobs which are not related to patient care will be done only if nurses have been able to meet their patient’s direct care needs. Management will be expected to perform the duties that nurses don’t.

Speaking to HEU convention delegates in Richmond Oct. 22, BCNU president Cathy Ferguson told delegates that “the absolute lack of any substantial progress at the bargaining table over critical issues like workload has led us to issue strike notice.” Staffing levels, workload and other quality of care issues are at the heart of the RN’s bargaining agenda.

Ferguson, whose request for HEU support was greeted with a standing ovation from delegates, recounted the strides the two unions have made in the recent past to rebuild a strong working relationship and to strengthen our public Medicare system.

“We have agreed to go forward, united in our deep belief in the value of all health care workers,” Ferguson said. “The people of B.C. need more RNs, more LPNs, more care aides and nurses aides throughout hospitals, in the community and in long-term care.”

HEU’s bargaining hotline (numbers listed below) will keep union members updated on both the registered nurses’ job action and progress of strike votes in the paramedical sector.