Bill 18 enacted

The B.C. Liberal government enacted legislation Monday that redefines health care bargaining units and moves licensed practical nurses into the RN-dominated Nurses Bargaining Association.

As a result, HEU LPN members in the facilities and community health subsectors will be transferred into the NBA though they will still be covered by the terms and conditions of the facilities collective agreement for the next year.

Bill 18, the Health Authorities Amendment Act, was introduced and passed by the B.C. Liberal majority in the legislature without consultation with HEU and other impacted unions, though health minister Margaret MacDiarmid has admitted to consulting with the BC Nurses Union on the matter.

MacDiarmid committed herself to consultation before enacting the legislation, but this consultation was limited and it remains unclear whether the consultation report will be issued despite a commitment to share it with all parties.

The requirement for meaningful consultation was established by the Supreme Court of Canada when it struck down a 2002 B.C. Liberal law that tore up collective agreements in the health and social services sectors.

Bill 18 was the last piece of legislation introduced by the B.C. Liberal government of Christy Clark and its enactment took place on the last day before the provincial election campaign is officially underway.

The BC Liberals highlighted their collaboration with BCNU in their election platform, also released Monday.