Nurses in B.C. have ratified a new agreement with the provincial government, securing a three-year deal that spans from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2025.

The tentative deal that was reached between the Health Employers Association and Nurses’ Bargaining Association (NBA), which represents over 51,000 registered, psychiatric and licensed practical nurses in the province, in late March of this year was ratified last week.The deal was made official after 40,526 BC Nurses Union (BCNU) members cast a ballot, with 61 per cent of NBA members casting a ballot voting in favour.

“There are many incentives in this new agreement that will help retain the nurses in the system now and attract the nurses we need in the future,” BCNU president Aman Grewal said in a release. “For too long, nurses have been providing patient care amidst a severe nurse shortage and heavy workloads.”

The majority of the nurses in the bargaining association are represented by the BCNU, with the rest backed by the Health Sciences Association, the Union of Psychiatric Nurses, the Hospital Employees’ Union and the British Columbia General Employees’ Union. While nurses work predominantly in hospitals and health centres, they also practice in long-term care facilities, home support services, and mental health facilities throughout B.C.

The new deal will see all employees receive a flat increase of 25 cents per hour, plus 3.24 percent retroactive to April 2, 2022 in the first year. Year two will see a 6.75 per cent, retroactive to April 1, 2023. In the contract’s final year, nurses receive a two percent increase, plus a potential cost-of-living adjustment to a maximum of three percent. There are also significant increases to shift premiums, on-call rates, responsibility pay, and isolation travel allowance within the new deal.

In addition to the general wage increase afforded to nurses, the collective agreement includes a wage schedule redesign that provides wage gains, including new increment steps at years 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30.