STOP GOUGING HEALTHCARE WORKERS
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The BC Government has taken steps to decrease the number of Colleges overseeing healthcare professionals from 21 to 19. While the government is focused on efficiencies, Nurses are too. The following addresses the costs of cushy office buildings for regulators being downloaded onto nurses, the monopoly of insurance carriers, and the quality of healthcare and cost of living for all British Columbians.
Hefty increases in licensing fees are undeniably a CLAWBACK in earnings. This government mandated a 2% wage increase and withdrew our right to negotiate for cost of living increases. Yet we continue to face a lack of affordable housing, increases in transportation, utilities, and grocery bills; and now we must pay dearly in order to protect the health of British Columbians.
Nurses in British Columbia are FINISHED with unreasonable hikes in licensing costs and skyrocketing insurance fees being downloaded on to our predominantly female and racially diverse workforce. We insist that this government follow through on its promise to close the pay gap for female and minority workers - this includes ensuring there are enough workers to do the job safely within standards of practice and within Worksafe BC regulations. In that spirit, we are also done with the 2 nurses for the price of 1 scheme that has arisen in healthcare.
Over the past several years, like workload, license fees have DOUBLED for nurses. Meanwhile, our workforce dwindles. By the end of this decade, we will be short 29,000 Nurses in this province. Nurses on maternity leave or with non-practicing status face prohibitive red tape and costs to return to work. Job vacancies sit empty with no explanation for why we haven't filled them.
We might be considered heroes during a time of COVID-19, or as we care directly for you, or your loved ones, but we are not made of steel. 50% of new nurses give up their practice within FIVE YEARS. As our Professional College enjoys an ample waterfront office and a, "generous salary and benefits package," at 200 Granville St next to Canada Place, nurses are waist deep in body fluids while college fees are deep in our pockets.
WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH.
Our College, like many other agencies and businesses, has found a way to work from home through COVID-19. We demand the government require the College to continue this practice post-pandemic. In fact, we suggest co-working spaces be a replacement for all healthcare colleges and other government agencies to free up real estate and allow the attraction of small businesses, and especially, to house our people according to the social determinants of health. Nurses must insist on an ethical review of expenditures from this point forward for all health colleges in the interest of the public purse.Further to the above, the employer was responsible for nurse's MSP premiums and no longer incurs these costs. Bravo, well done, we applaud this move that brought our province in line with the rest of Canada. However, this was a negotiated part of the Nurse's earnings per the employment contract under the NBA.
Nurses demand the government waive our licensing fees AND require the employer to absorb costs of liability insurance in lieu of MSP coverage.
In the interest of efficiencies, we urge the Ministers to reconsider the monopoly on liability insurance which makes the CNPS sole providers - thus allowing insurance fees to TRIPLE in just one year.
Lastly, we request an official government inquiry into the contract between the NNPBC and the CNPS to determine the unique agreement regarding coverage options.
Forever in your service,
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