Letter: In response to NDPs opposition of Bill 18

I would like the NDP and the voting public to know the British Columbia Nurses’ Union are not the bad girls/boys of the labour movement.

To the editor:

I am a licensed practical nurse (LPN) of 33 years, full scope 13 years on an acute care ward.

I would like the NDP and the voting public to know the British Columbia Nurses’ Union are not the bad girls/boys of the labour movement.

History lesson:

Year 2000: LPNs told we must take the pharmacology course—this was not optional. If an LPN did not take the course they would lose their license to practice. The LPNs job skills were evolving and medication administration was just the start.

Year 2004: LPNs wages rolled 15 per cent back because we were members of Hospital Employees’ Union (HEU). The LPNs of this province were outraged. How crazy was that—assume more responsibility and acquire more knowledge and then have your wages rolled back.

LPNs felt they were not being adequately represented by HEU. HEU referred to LPNs as support workers, not nurses. Yet the word nurse is clearly stated in our title.

LPNs in B.C from every health authority started writing letters asking the B.C. Nurses’ Union (BCNU) to come for us. This was not an overnight venture, it has taken the LPNs eight long years to move unions.

Now the LPNs are in the BCNU, but we are stuck in the Facility Bargaining Association with HEU until Bill 18 is passed into law.

The LPNs should be in the Nurses Bargaining Association, we are nurses in every sense of the word.

Not a secret: HEU strongly supports the NDP, therefore the NDP supports HEU. Note to NDP: You have lost my vote and I hope thousands of votes for your opposition to Bill 18.

NDP, before you jump on a union’s band wagon, take note of what an LPN does daily: Administer medications, dressing change, vital signs, head to toe assessment, educate patients in regards to their medications and/or treatment, just to mention a few. Does that not sound like a nurse?

Opposition to this bill is ridiculous! Bill 18 should become law ASAP. It is the right thing to do, to finally recognize the LPNs of this province as nurses.

We have had a long and difficult fight to get to where we are.

LPNs: We have almost reached the goal, we are in BCNU but we need to legally be proclaimed as nurses by Bill 18 so that we can move to the Nurses Bargaining Association.

I respectfully request all LPNs and voting public to please call your legislators to have Bill 18 become law.

From anywhere outside Metro Vancouver or Greater Victoria in B.C. call 1-800-663-7867. Ask to be connected to the constituency office for your area.

Or sign the petition at www.bcnu.org/petition.aspx.

Lee-Ann Seidler,

Oliver