Province, nurses reach tentative two-year agreement
September 27, 2012
The B.C. government has reached a tentative two-year agreement with the province's nurses, Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid announced Wednesday.
"This is the result of some very hard work on both sides of the table," MacDiarmid said Wednesday as she announced the tentative deal.
"Within the two-year agreement we have come to there is a modest compensation increase and there's also the addition of new nurses to the health care system, which was certainly very important to the B.C. Nurses' Union," she added. MacDiarmid said the deal was negotiated within government's so-called cooperative gains mandate, which stipulates any wage increases must be funded by savings found within the system. She added she would not release details of the agreement until after the unions share them with their membership. Officials said the agreement is retroactive to April 1, 2012.
In a news release Wednesday, B.C. Nurses' Union president Debra McPherson welcomed the deal. "We are pleased we were able to work constructively with health employers to address our members' major concerns," she said. "I'm looking forward to discussing the agreement with our members starting next week."
The B.C. Nurses' Union is the largest union in the Nurses' Bargaining Association, which also includes the Health Sciences Association and the Union of Psychiatric Nurses.
The press release did not give details of the deal, saying only that it "addresses their members' main concerns - providing safe patient care through safe staffing, enhancing job security and improving compensation."
Details of the agreement will be released after they are presented to regional executives and stewards on Oct. 2. Asked about the progress of other labour negotiations in the health sector, MacDiarmid did not offer any-thing decisive. "Negotiations are ongoing and we certainly hope more will be concluded," she said.