Health news: Nurse speaks out against B.C.'s tentative agreement | CTV News A registered psychiatric nurse who works in a Lower Mainland emergency room is panning the tentative deal reached by the B.C. Nurses' Union and the province on Friday. Christina Gower acknowledges she has not seen the entire proposed collective bargaining agreement but has concerns about some of the details that are already public. “Certainly we want to see every detail before we sign off on a contract,” Gower said. “We’ve got to be very careful to protect the public here in this contract.” In particular she takes issue with a $2.15 per hour pay premium for regular status employees the province highlighted in its news release about the proposed agreement. Gower believes that will create a two-tiered pay system for people doing the same work if the wage bump is not offered to casual employees as well. “I’m afraid that it’s actually going to deter people from coming in to nursing or staying in nursing,” she said. The BC Nurses' Union declined an interview with CTV News Sunday but did send a brief statement on what will happen next. "BCNU will be putting the tentative deal before the membership early this week. A series of ratification information sessions are planned for members,” the union said. In a statement released Friday, the BCNU praised “a groundbreaking commitment from the provincial government to support mandatory nurse-patient ratios.” Gower is skeptical about that claim. “To us, it’s a unicorn. It doesn’t exist because we just don’t have the nurses to make a safe ratio happen that’s going to provide standards of care that are required,” she said. Gower plans to look at the new contract thoroughly before making a final decision on whether she will support it – but she’s already leaning one way. “To be honest I’ll probably vote no just based on the two-tiered pay and equality,” she said. The BCNU will host a series of information sessions on the proposed agreement in the coming week and nurses will vote to accept or reject the deal later this month.
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