Nurses want lighter workloads

Nanaimo nurses hope to see some improvements in workload levels at the provincial bargaining table next year.

Nanaimo nurses hope to see some improvements in workload levels at the provincial bargaining table next year.

The contract between the B.C. Nurses’ Union and the province does not expire until the end of March, 2012, but the union is already gearing up for bargaining.

Jo Taylor, chairwoman of the Pacific Rim for the BCNU, took a delegation of about two dozen nurses to the provincial bargaining strategy conference in Vancouver recently. Before the group left, she collected local concerns at the regional bargaining conference.

“The big issue for the nurses here was around workload,” said Taylor.

Patients treated in the hallways at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital has “become the norm”, she said, and duties in long-term care facilities are also increasing – nurses are telling her the paperwork is increasing and they are sometimes not replaced when they go on vacation.

Taylor said nurses will push the province to develop a workload measurement tool and firm nurse-patient ratios to help correct the workload issues.

Nurses are also concerned about their benefits, pensions and workplace safety, she said.

The union has worked hard to get nurses a decent benefits package and Taylor said nurses are worried the province will ask for concessions and decreases to this plan.

Nurses also want the province to lower the age at which they can start receiving pensions as well as improvements to workplace safety, she said.

WorkSafeBC released a report in February on a 2009 violent incident at NRGH that found the health authority failed to minimize the risk of violence to hospital workers.

Taylor said those incidents are occurring throughout Island facilities and not enough is being done to address safety issues.

“It’s a bit of a frustration for everybody to hear these stories and not feel safe at the job,” she said.

The union hopes to begin talks with the province before March.

“We had some really positive rounds of negotiation last time and we’d like to carry that through again this time,” she said.

Just Posted

A section of the rail corridor on Vancouver Island. (Black Press file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Put rail trail right overtop of the tracks

Removing tracks would be a horrendous expense, says letter writer

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Tilray announces new line of products offering more inexpensive choices for medical cannabis users. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo-based Tilray launches new medical cannabis product line

Symbios brand products offered at ‘better price point’ for medical cannabis products

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Most Read