Nurses overwhelmingly ratify provincial contract extension

Members of the Nurses' Bargaining Association, including registered psychiatric nurses who are members of the Health Sciences Association, have overwhelmingly ratified an extension of the provincial collective agreement.   The overall margin was 96 per cent in favour.

The retention and recruitment agreement provides labour market adjustments of three per cent on April 1, 2010 and April 1, 2011. These market adjustments were proposed to help retain nurses by keeping compensation competitive.

Now that the agreement has been ratified the association looks forward to beginning the ongoing work that will lead to improvements in members working conditions, and hopefully help recruit and retain more nurses. 

The agreement establishes a top level Joint Quality Worklife Committee (JQWC) to address key nursing practice concerns, consisting of equal representation from the union and provincial government/health authorities.

The bargaining association will be pushing hard for implementation of specific measures to address workload, health and safety and violence prevention. The JQWC will also discuss enhanced disability management, a Short Term Illness and Injury Plan (STIIP), use of agency nurses  and staffing processes, a health and welfare benefit review and supervisory capacity (Levels 2 and 3).