HEU on B.C. government’s rollover deal for RNs

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Media reports have now confirmed that the B.C. government has offered the BC Nurses’ Union a deal to rollover their 2006-2010 collective agreement for an additional two years.

Details on the government’s terms are not yet known.

Government is considering a similar contract extension with the Health Sciences Association.

Hospital Employees’ Union secretary-business manager Judy Darcy says government’s secretive pre-election dealings with some health unions is in stark contrast to the transparent and coordinated bargaining approach established by former finance minister Carole Taylor in 2006.

“The 2006 bargaining process was well-understood and fairly applied across the health care sector,” says Darcy.

“Under that framework, HEU led successful negotiations that produced benefits for everyone including government, health care workers and patients.”

Those gains included:

  • higher than average signing bonuses of $4,200;
  • average wage increases of 10.8 per cent (including special adjustments for a number of occupations);
  • 15 per cent (compounded) wage adjustment for LPNs – the same increase later agreed to by BCNU for RNs;
  • a $5 million union-operated education fund, and
  • job security through a cap on contracting out.

“Clearly, the 2006 approach worked. Our members benefited from a process that was open, above-board and which took place within a realistic timeframe,” says Darcy.

BCNU members will be voting on the government rollover deal on April 8, just days before the writ is dropped for the provincial election.

Darcy says that the union has been in touch with HEABC. HEU’s Provincial Executive is holding a regularly scheduled meeting this week and will review these developments.