B.C. nurses ready to resign

Nurses may quit if government orders settlement

More than 5,000 B.C. nurses are threatening to walk off the job if the government enacts legislation forcing them to end their labour dispute.

The union representing the nurses has resignation letters from over 5,000 members. The union says it may submit the letters to the provincial government if it tries to force a settlement.

The union says that one factor that could determine whether or not it hands in the letters is if the government tries to legislate the offer the nurses have rejected. The employers association’s most recent offer gave the nurses a 22 per cent wage increase, to $32.42/hour. The nurses want $35/hour and a two-year deal, scaled back from their initial demand for $38/hour and a three-year agreement.

The association says that it does not have the money to make a better offer.

The B.C. nurses hope their resignation letters will be as successful a tactic as they were in Nova Scotia last month. In that province, when nurses threatened to submit mass resignation letters, the government backed down on its plans to impose a contract.

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