The Nurses’ Bargaining Association (NBA) Bargaining Committee is back at the table with bargaining representatives from the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC), exchanging article language proposals that address many of the shortcomings in the current contract. In addition to lead negotiator, Jim Gould, other bargaining committee members are presenting to the employer group, and keeping the voices of working nurses in the conversation by providing compelling examples of the ways misinterpreted language is leading to nurses being woefully disrespected.
Gould was sharp in his reminder to the employer representatives: this is an historic opportunity to reset the relationship between nurses and employers. While the Union’s proposals may appear to add more financial pressure to the healthcare system in the short term, Gould has insisted these changes are required for recruitment and retention. Gould strongly asserted that if employers do the right thing today, these changes will result in nurses staying in the profession for the long term, and will also help return qualified nurses back to the workplace.
When not presenting proposals to HEABC, the Bargaining Committee meets in smaller groups to review the Employer’s counterproposals carefully. This micro approach gives the team more time to assess and challenge the intention of changes being proposed. Talks remain focused on housekeeping-type changes before moving into more complex language and monetary proposals in the weeks ahead.
The NBA Bargaining Committee is steadfast in its resolve. We will continue to bring the voice of nurses to the table, and call out the disconnect between those negotiating for the HEABC and what the employers are actually doing.