NBA Bargaining Update: Bargaining Formally Underway

Bargaining for the next Nurses’ Bargaining Association (NBA) collective agreement began on Thursday, December 8th in Vancouver when both the NBA Bargaining Committee and the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC) presented their opening remarks. HSA members are represented on the Bargaining Committee by Nicole McIntosh, a registered psychiatric nurse at St. Paul’s Hospital and Alyson Warner, HSA Assistant Membership Services Coordinator of Servicing and Negotiations.

The NBA Bargaining committee opened with a presentation that highlighted nurses' voices from around the province, making use of video vignettes and direct quotes from nurses that highlighted the undeniable impact the nursing staffing crisis is having and how desperately they need help. These statements included impactful messages from members including calls for better wages, respect, and safe workplaces, to keep the focus on working nurses. 

Lead Negotiator and BCNU Interim CEO Jim Gould went on to share a series of significant statistics that underscore the need for this round of bargaining to seriously address shortcomings in the system that are directly linked to recruitment and retention issues:

  • 88 per cent of nurses in BC say they’re working short at least once a week.
  • Each additional patient added to a nurse’s assignment increases the odds of patient death by 16 per cent.
  • 79 per cent of nurses say that they had witnessed patients suffering adverse health outcomes as a direct result of poor nurse staffing.
  • 36 per cent of nurses report personally experiencing discrimination at work, while 54 per cent report witnessing it.

The NBA Bargaining Committee shared its expectation that principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion be incorporated throughout the bargaining process in order to recognize the diversity of nurses. The Bargaining Committee also expressed its desire to have both parties recognize the Indigenous-specific racism and discrimination that exists in the health-care system and incorporate the findings of the In Plain Sight Report, specifically that negotiators maintain an anti-racist mindset when considering contract language.

HSA’s members of the Committee look forward to having several issues of high priority to Registered Psychiatric Nurses tabled next week, and the ongoing dialogue to follow. 

Next Steps

Bargaining dates have been set for the week of December 12th, after which time bargaining will pause over the holiday season. Meetings will resume in January 2023.

How to Help

If you have nursing colleague who did not receive this bargaining update, please share the email with them and encourage them to use HSA’s Member Contact Update Form to share their personal email address with the union.