Editorial from the "National Post", a Canadian right wing newspaper. The current exchange rate for the Canadian dollar is 65.4 US cents. So the $32 per hour rate quoted in the editorial works out to $20.93 per hour in US dollars.
I expect US nurse recruiters will have a field day in Canada if this advice is followed.
Call nurses' bluff
The union representing 23,000 of British Columbia's 30,000 nurses claims to have letters of resignation on hand from more than 5,000 of its members, letters it will submit should the new B.C. Liberal government under
Premier Gordon Campbell legislate a settlement in the nurses' ongoing wage negotiations. The prospect of so many highly paid nurses being suddenly out of work does not seem to trouble Debra McPherson, president of the British Columbia Nurses Union, though. On the weekend, Ms. McPherson told reporters she had recently been in a submarine sandwich shop that had lots of job openings. "We're all educated people with transferable skills," she said. "We will find other jobs."
It is doubtful many of her members actually share Ms. McPherson's enthusiasm for abandoning a $32-per-hour career in favour of $7-per-hour jobs assembling cold-cut combos. So Mr. Campbell should call the BCNU's bluff and threaten to fire the belligerent nurses -- in the same way Ronald Reagan, then U.S. president, fired more than 11,000 members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization in August of 1981. Otherwise, the Premier and his agenda will be hostage to B.C.'s powerful public-sector unions for the next four years.
If (sic) would be unnecessary to fire all 23,000 BCNU members, or even all of the 5,000 militant members who have signed threatening letters. Mr. Campbell and his health minister, Colin Hansen, would need to fire only those who refused to rescind their letters by some reasonable deadline -- say, Aug. 8, when a provincially imposed 60-day cooling off period expires. After that, any nurse still intent on resignation should quickly find herself or himself repeating the line, "Would you like fries with that, sir?"
The nurses have been offered a raise to nearly $33 per hour over three years -- the highest nursing pay in Canada. Yet they are demanding $35 per hour over two years, or nearly 10% more than any other nurses in the country. The stakes are high. If Mr. Campbell caves in to their threat, he can expect his sensible plans to right the B.C. economy and cut government to be resisted at every turn by entrenched union interests.