Excerpt from the Official Report of


February 26, 2013

Questions on health authorities' roles in labour agreement with nurses

S. Simpson: Labour negotiations require all parties to be at the table if they're going to be meaningful and if they're going to be successful. The minister can call them formal or informal. However, just like the failed ten-year effort with teachers that we know the government failed on…. That failed largely because neither the teachers nor the employers were part of that framework, and they heard about it at the end of the process.

In this case, we know in this deal the health authorities have been left out of this conversation entirely. Clearly, this is about politics. It has little to do with labour relations. It is about a scramble before May 14.

Will the minister kill this misguided exercise today and allow the existing agreement with nurses to be fulfilled?


S. Simpson: No one is opposed to long-term agreements that make sense. But you don't write a ten-year deal in a couple of weeks on the eve of an election, particularly when you are already a discredited government. This is especially true when you leave one of the critical parties — in this case, the health authority — out of the mix. And we know from comments today from the president of the B.C. Nurses Union that they say they have no interest in a ten-year deal.

What we have is a health authority that's left out of the mix and a nurses union that isn't interested. So what we have is a government grasping to try to find some good news where none exists because of your failures and your position in the polls. That's the reality today.

Will the minister admit this is another ill-conceived Liberal effort that has gone wrong, put this thing in the trash where it belongs and have some meaningful discussion after May 14 with a new government?



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