British Columbia Sun

B.C. nurses rally at the legislature over staffing lacks


Key takeaways: 

  • The protest comes as the nurses’ Union readies to arrange a new agreement.
  • Hundreds of nurses rallied outside the regional legislature in Victoria, B.C., on May 10, 2022.

Nearly 300 nurses from across the region rallied in front of the B.C. Legislature on Tuesday, urging action on staffing lacks and patient protection.

The B.C arranged the rally. Nurses’ Union requests better working situations ahead of agreement negotiations later this year.

Union president Aman Grewal stated nurses everywhere are pulled thin after two years of the pandemic.

“It’s taking a toll on them — physically, mentally. They are only getting burnt out, they are getting contacted in on their days off, they have to work more,” Grewal stated.

The nurses’ present agreement with the region ended on March 31, and the Union says negotiations will start for the next after a bargaining conference in October.

In the meantime, Grewal stated she’d like to see the B.C. government manage nursing lacks by providing more budget for bridging programs that let licensed practical nurses become registered nurses.

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Nearly 300 nurses from across the region rallied in front of the B.C. Legislature on Tuesday

She added that there are not sufficient programs for the retention and recruitment of nurses.

In Question Period at the legislature on Tuesday, the opponent Liberals pressed Health Minister Adrian Dix on what the government is doing to manage the lack of nurses.

Health critic Shirley Bond said she heard stories of “rage, frustration, heartbreak” from nurses and accused Dix of “empty rhetoric” on the case.

Dix replied that COVID-19 had created unprecedented pressures on staffing in health care.

“In the previous week, we had a level of scarcity in the system mainly due to COVID-19 that was near twice the normal level, including last year,” he said.

The Ministry of Health recently declared $12 million in the budget to facilitate internationally educated nurses to become registered in B.C.

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