Canadian Labour Congress statement on BCNU actions against HEU

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The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) has ruled that the BC Nurses’ Union’s (BCNU’s) plan to sign up HEU members as “associate members” violates the national labour organization’s rules against interference in other unions’ bargaining relationships.

In a letter written to the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, CLC president Ken Georgetti states that “the BCNU was preparing to undertake actions that would be in violation” of the CLC constitution.

The CLC is responding to a BCNU campaign to sign up HEU and BCGEU licensed practical nurses as “associate members.”

HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy is urging the BCNU leadership to comply with the CLC directive immediately and discontinue their membership raid.

“HEU and BCNU members are working side-by-side to deliver quality care under challenging and stressful conditions,” says Darcy.

“They don’t need to deal with the disruption, conflict and added stress that will result from this reckless drive to increase their membership base.”

If the BCNU fails to comply with the CLC directive, their representatives won’t be able to participate in CLC, B.C. Federation of Labour and local labour council activities. The BCNU could eventually face expulsion from these labour bodies.

The BCNU publicly announced their campaign to organize LPNs through province-wide newspaper advertisements that ran on May 13 - the day after the provincial election.

In order to transfer LPNs into their union, BCNU would need the government to introduce legislation amending existing laws governing union representation in health care.