Quiet thread

  1. This is such a quiet thread. Come on guys, there must be some interesting things that we have here in the Canadian Nursing profession. What makes Canadian Nurses different than other nurses, what's unique to Canadian nurses, what issues do they have? There must be something you guys can tell me about Nursing in Canada. Comments from all aspects of the Nursing profession are welcome.
    Thanks
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    I know what you mean Simonne. The thread tends to get more active when contracts come up. Here's a question... Have you all seen the latest bill 29 passed by the liberal gov't? Do any other provinces have similar legislation? I am particularly concerned with the fact that they have the right to assign me to any floor whether I feel safe working there or not (I am an OB/L&D nurse) and with the fact that any non-clinical services (which includes all ambulatory care, clinics, chemo, dialysis, etc.) can be farmed out privately.

    This is the explanation of the bill from BCNU's website.

    Backgrounder on Bill 29; What it Means to Nurses and Patients
    Bill 29 allows the BC Liberal government to contract out services and rip up collective agreements for nurses and other health care employees. It is profoundly anti-health, anti-nurse and anti-patient. It facilitates the closing of hospitals and services, and the layoff of nurses without bumping or seniority rights.

    This legislation - which was rammed through the legislature at 4:30 AM on January 28 - is aimed at privatizing health care and stripping away the rights of nurses. It was debated and approved without any advance consultation with BCNU or any other union, and without any opportunity for public input. The only people consulted in health care for this legislation was our employer, the HEABC.

    Here, in brief, is what the government's legislation gives health employers:

    Temporary re-assignment
    The legislation gives health care employers the power to re-assign nurses without their consent to any location within their hospital or worksite, or to another worksite, even if it is in another health care region, as many times as the employer wants, provided the new worksite is no more than 50 kilometres from the worksite where the nurse ordinarily works.
    The legislation also gives health employers the power to re-assign nurses without their consent to locations more than 50 kilometres from their ordinary worksite, for up to 30 days in a four month period. For example, a nurse in Cranbrook or Vancouver or Kelowna could be assigned to a worksite in Prince Rupert or Fort St. John or Port Hardy for up to 90 days a year.
    Re-organizations, transfers and closures
    Employers can transfer nurses - on a permanent or temporary basis - to any other worksite or any other employer within 50 kilometres of their current worksite without their consent. If a nurse does not accept the transfer, she or he will be considered to have resigned and will lose all bumping rights and severance pay.
    Employers can also transfer nurses to worksites more than 50 kilometres away from their current worksite on a permanent basis if the nurse accepts the transfer. If the nurse refuses the transfer, she or he may or use the limited bumping rights available in the legislation to get a new position.
    Health employers get virtually unchecked power to layoff staff and close services, shut down units and close facilities with no more than 60 days notice.
    Creation of multi-site positions
    Employers get the power to transfer services from one worksite to another, or from one health authority to another, without transferring the employees in that program.
    Employers can create as many multi-site positions as they wish without consulting the union.
    Employers are only forced to post multi-site positions if they require a nurse to work at a multi-site position "on a regular on-going basis."
    The legislation gives employers the right to ignore worksite seniority and posting requirements in setting up these positions and moving nurses between worksites and employers.
    Contracting out and privatization
    The government gives employers the right to contract out the work done by thousands of nurses. Community nursing, long term care nursing, hospital outpatient clinics, cancer clinics, day surgeries, ambulatory care services and emergency wards could all be contracted out to private businesses under the legislation.
    Health Minister Colin Hansen told The Vancouver Sun that kidney dialysis would be a good candidate for contracting out. Speaking in the legislature, he admitted hospital pre-admission procedures could be contracted out to doctors, and that hospital emergency wards could also be contracted out.
    Successorship rights
    * Nurses working for a service that is contracted out will have to re-apply for their jobs and will cease to be union members.

    * Nurses lose successorship rights to any work that is contracted out. They'll lose seniority, pay rates, sick banks and all other contract provisions.

    The Healthcare Labour Adjustment Agency abolished
    Bill 29 shuts down the HLAA, which has helped hundreds of displaced nurses receive retraining and other assistance since 1993.
    Only nurses displaced before the legislation was passed, may continue to access services before the agency is wound down by a government-appointed administrator within a year.
    Health Minister Hansen told the legislature that the HLAA's functions will be assumed by the new six health authorities, from within their existing budgets. But their budgets have been frozen for the next three years by the Liberals - so nurses' ability to access training funds will be extremely limited.
    Employment security quashed
    No nurse is entitled to more than 60 days notice before being laid off.
    The legislation completely eliminates employment security. It abolishes the HLAA and labour adjustment committees. It also does away with enhanced consultation and prohibits any contract provision that requires an employer to consult with a union before contracting out. That means your workplace and your working conditions can be changed without any consultation and regard for your safety and standards of practice.
    Bumping and layoff rights
    Bill 29 removes the bumping language previously negotiated by BCNU and prohibits any improvement in layoff and bumping language before Dec. 31, 2005, well beyond the expiry of our current collective agreement (and after the next election).
    A nurse's bumping rights depend on whether or not she has more - or less - than five years service.
    With more than five years seniority a nurse can bump into any position he or she is "qualified and capable of performing" that is held by somebody with less than five years seniority.
    Nurses with less than five years seniority can only bump the most junior employee "whose hours of work are comparable."
    Nurses have 48 hours after receiving the seniority list to decide whether to bump somebody in their own worksite. They have seven days to bump somebody from another worksite. Nurses who don't bump can be laid off after seven days from the time they were given the seniority list.
    This means many nurses will be forced to choose layoff or work in areas outside their interest or specialized practice. These are hardly options voters expected from a government that promised to retain and recruit nurses.
    Rather than putting the needs of patients first - as the Liberals repeatedly promised before getting elected - Bill 29 was introduced to help them try to maintain their three-year freeze on health care funding. That freeze will help the Liberals pay for the huge and reckless tax cuts they handed to wealthy British Columbians and big businesses.
  4. by   leesonlpn
    this is a quiet thread, because canadians are quiet people. (except at hockey games).
  5. by   Paprikat
    I am a BC nurse, quite possibly about to lose my job, if and when, the facility I work at gets shut down, compliments of Mr. Campbell, or as I like to call him, SATAN!
    We have had three independant housekeeping/dietary contractors offer bids, so this will lay off alot of our "family", who have been there for years and put their heart and soul into their jobs, and they'll hire these guys for half the money and the union has NO SAY in it. Morale is so low at our place.
    I will have no bumping rights and very little notice, if they do pink slip us.
    At the rally in Victoria last week, 20,000 people attended and Campbell basically said he could care less.
    This is my Canadian nursing perspective. I am not the only one in this situation....
  6. by   Simonne
    Well guys, we're making huge progress. It's great to hear all of your comments, it helps me understand the profession a whole lot more. And our Canadian politicians wonder why all of their bright people leave Canada to head to the US, wow, I wonder why! I guess what I'm hearing is Canada isn't the right place to start a Nursing career, or at least not right now, in these times. That's kind of upsetting to hear that a country like Canada has such a poor health care system. What seems to be the solution to all of this nonsense, ploiticians have to start caring! Fergus51, I guess the BC Nursing is not as cheery as most Canadians tought it was. I thought BC, up until now, was a great place to Nurse, but as always all good things must come to an end. Do you guys think there will still continue to be a huge outflux of people to the US? It sure seems that way. Thanks for all of your imputs, it really sheds some light on our health care system.
  7. by   snickers
    In reference to what is going in on in B.C.....where is the R.N.A.B.C., how are we supposed to maintain our standards? they are strangely silent, considering the money they take from us every year.....how can we be sure that the B.c.N.U isn't just fear mongering?
  8. by   Heather56
    snickers
    If you want to know about bill 29 the best thing is to visit this site and read the actual bill.

    www.legis.gov.bc.ca/37th2nd/1st_read/gov29-1.htm

    You will then be able to read what bcnu has issued with an informed eye. Like many BCers I am worried about the future of health care in BC but I also think we have developed such a "them" (management) and "us" attitude when, really, we are all in the same boat. Yeah we are going to hear about pay outs to CEO's that have lost their jobs but there will be lots of middle mgmt and non-union people who will also be out jobs. I don't have any magic solutions but I do think that everyone in health care needs to work together to prevent the distruction of the current system.
    (Actually this was supposed to be a "quick" reply!)
  9. by   Zhakrin
    NEWFIE NURSEs UNITE!!!
    We should start a newfie nurse teamsters union,
    from what I hear of nurse wages in newfoundland we need it.

    Zhakrin
  10. by   pebbles
    ... OR we need to get the ones who are leaving (assuming that isn't us) to write letters to the press and to the legislators telling them WHY they left.
    The public doesn't get it, the politicians don't get it. It is not the job of a politician to "understand" all of our job stresses and woes, but they are the ones with the power, so if we tell them loudly and simply what is wrong, maybe they will be pressured into fixing it.....
    Burning out in Manitoba
  11. by   snickers
    Heather,
    Yes,I have read bill 29 over and over again, actually I made the comments about Bcnu and rnabc to "stir the pot " if you will.
    I am still in shock about the direction that this government has taken, however at the same time I do find that I do agree with some of the direction that they are taking. Health care in Canada is not sustainable the way it is, and anyone working in the system for any length of time can see that it is at a state of collapse(and has been for some time),
    Is the only way to sustain it is to privatize? and although privatize is a swear word to us unionized workers, what other choices are there? There are so many issues to cover, that this post could take hours, anyway, just wanted to acknowledge your post and will write more later, need to get ready to go to the slave pit for another shift.....

    sj.
  12. by   Simonne
    sj,
    I agree that our health care system has been collapsing for quite some time now, so what do we do? I aslo agree that privitization may be the only answer. What do you all think of private health care? Is it so bad? Just putting a "feeler" out there to get some opinions on this issue.......Simonne
  13. by   fergus51
    I just don't see how this is going to help the health care system. I am most concerned with being assigned to a floor I don't feel comfortabe working on. I am an OB nurse, haven't worked med-surg since I graduated! How safe is it to have me looking after stroke victims. Fortunately non-OB nurses still can't work in my area.

    I don't think the Liberals want to save health care. I think they want it to fail so they can say "See, it doesn't work, we need to privatize". As someone who has worked in the States and seen a two tier health care system in action, I don't want that for Canada. It's great if you have money, but it isn't if you don't. And HMOs are notorious for denying people the treatment they need. If the Liberals wanted to save health care they would do things to retain nurses, they would increase the role of nurse pratitionners and midwives, they would cut out the wasted doctors visits (like to renew prescriptions you will be on the rest of your life), they would have community health centers like in Comox, they would pay attention to the social determinants of health and not create a class of poor and uneducated people.

    And can someone explain to me how it is cheaper to pay an agency to get a housekeeper? Sure the housekeeper only makes 10$, but the agency would be charging at least 18$!
  14. by   Heather56
    The reason it's cheaper to pay the agency is that the $18. is a straight payment whereas the $10 wage is only the salary and the hospital must also pay benefits, uic, cpp, vacation, sick time etc etc. not to mention paying the staff to manage all these things.
    I agree with you about the health care system in the states. I have yet to see a privatized system anywhere that works for "everyone".

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