Nurses ratify 5-year deal with province

By James Peters
May 11, 2016 - 11:35am Updated: May 11, 2016 - 6:53pm

KAMLOOPS — Health Minister Terry Lake says it's a great way to celebrate Nursing Week in BC.

The province and its nurses have announced a new five-year agreement has been ratified, with 85 per cent of nurses voting in favour of accepting the deal.

In line with the government's affordability mandate, it includes a 5.5 per cent wage increase over five years.

Lake says it's a satisfying outcome.

"We know about the great work that nurses do in hospital but also in community, so I really think this will make a difference for a really hard-working profession," said Lake. "Importantly, it gives them a voice in nursing policy in the health ministry, which is a recognition of the great work they do and how important they are to the health system."

In addition to the wage increase, the deal also includes funds to reduce violence in the workplace and to promote training.

Lake adds another measure included in the deal is a review of nursing needs in rural and remote communities, along with $2 million to implement recommendations of that review.

In a news release, BC Nurses Union President Gayle Duteil says "nurses have demonstrated their strong support for contract provisions that seek to improve care for patients."

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