BC Nurses Union locking out employees, slashing access to medical appointment leave
July 21, 2016
BURNABY – The BC Nurses Union plans to lock out its administrative employees this Friday in order to force them into accepting a contract that attacks their sick and medical appointment leave.
“The BCNU has demanded concessions and refused to negotiate a fair collective agreement with its employees, who are MoveUP members,” said MoveUP President David Black. “This is an employer that represents health care workers and they are trying to claw back their own employees’ access to medical appointments.”
The BCNU is attempting to force a final contract offer on MoveUP members that would slash sick leave, medical appointment leave and family responsibility leave and doesn’t address many of the employees’ key demands for a fair and reasonable collective agreement. The parties remain at odds on a range of issues, from wages to an improved grievance handling process.
“Our employer is trying to force us into a contract that would prevent a lot of us from going to necessary medical appointments,” said MoveUP member and BCNU employee Leisa Smith. “Many of us have kids or elderly parents that count on us to take them to the doctor. It’s a truly uncaring move to take this away from us.”
Black noted that MoveUP has encouraged the employer to get back to bargaining or enter into mediation. The BCNU leadership has chosen instead to take aggressive action by threatening a lockout and forcing implementation of a final contract offer.
“The BCNU leadership is hypocritically using tactics against their own employees that they would fight if used against their nurses,” said Black. “And unfortunately, their actions are forcing us to take a strike vote on Friday.”
“MoveUP will continue to do everything necessary to support our members to make sure they get a fair deal.”
MoveUP represents approximately 75 office and administrative employees who work for the BCNU. The current collective agreement expired on December 31, 2015 and the parties have been negotiating a renewal of the collective agreement since January 2016.
UPDATE – July 22, 2016
At 10 am on July 22, 2016, the BC Nurses’ Union ordered MoveUP’s members to return to work under the employer’s unilateral conditions.
The employer’s contract includes all the cuts that would slash sick leave, medical appointment leave and family responsibility leave. It also doesn’t address many of the employees’ key demands for a fair and reasonable collective agreement, from wages to an improved grievance handling process.
To avoid being forced back to work under an untenable collective agreement, MoveUP’s members voted to take strike action and they are now on strike.
The BC Nurses’ Union has refused mediation which would enable the parties to find a fair settlement.