If you are an LPN working in British Columbia, you need no reminding of the last year's events- the 15% wage cut, the increase in scope of practice, the fact that we have a union which will not let us join the BC Nurses Bargaining unit ( this is a bargaining unit, NOT a union). We have a union which does not promote or represent us. We receive no recogition or respect from the government or media. The majority of the public has no idea what a LPN is, or that we are "represented" by HEU, and that we took a wage cut. There was no mention of nurses being on the picket line, and subsequent protest line, during last year's strike on the news. Any mention of cutting nurses pay would have made Campbell look bad, and the media would have none of that. Instead they focused solely on the housekeepers, laundry and kitchen workers, complaining of people getting paid $18/hr to push a broom around. They talked of the "lavish benefits" which every hospital employee supposedly enjoys - 8 weeks of holiday, weeks and weeks of sick time - and that it's abused as well- and the exagerated list of benefits went on and on. Union leaders never appeared before the camera inform to the public that licensed practical nurses were also part of the job action, and the service they provide and responsiblities they have.
Fellow BC LPN's, let's face reality - Campbell WILL win the election in May, and he will have a majority, and he will be able to do whatever he pleases, as there will be no election for another 4 years. The question is, what are we LPN's going to do about it???
Whining and snivelling will accomplish nothing. You may or may not know that the biomedical engineers, counsellors and cardio techs have transferred from our bargaining unit into the paramedical professional bargaining unit. You can read about it at www.heu.org
under February publications. The union would have you believe it was done in the members best interests, but they don't mention they were threatened with legal action. They will not face an additional 15% wage cut when our contract up up in April '06, they are safely tucked into a bargaining unit with other professionals, unlike the LPN's. Remember, Campbell stated that HEU employees were 30% overpaid. That leaves us and the service workers, so what are we going to do about it??
I noticed on the union noticeboard, the monthlyunion meetings are now held at 1730hrs - tough luck for any working LPN who wishes to attend, but does not get off work until 1900. The meetings used to be held at 1930. You think they may be trying to exclude a particular group of people?
HEU is a union which is scared on being contracted out of existence, and it's primary concern is preserving membership numbers, more union dues that way, and therefore they will gladly sacrifice pay, in order to preserve numbers. How low are you willing to go? Will you gladly show up to work for $15/hr, $10/hr, $8/hr? Are you willing to take on more responsiblity for less pay, work more and get no recognition or respect? We have no voice and no represention, no single body in which we can make out voices heard. So what are we going to do about it??