Hello, Minister. BCIT Faculty and Staff Association calling again.
Let's talk about nursing. BCIT led the country in creating a three-year Bachelor of Science in nursing. Your government put good money into that program and it's producing results.
Over the past year, BCIT had a vacancy in advanced nursing specialties go unfilled for a year. I don't need to tell you that nurses have a strong sense of professional responsibility and many feel that it's an honour to train the next generation.
That honour, unfortunately, isn't enough when it means sacrificing family time, seniority, and health benefits for comparable wages and vacation.
Now, your government has negotiated a contract that will give hospital nurses more money and better working conditions. They'll receive a three per cent raise on April 1, 2013. And they deserve it.
We've been offered nothing, and if it was hard for BCIT to recruit nursing instructors last year, imagine what it will be like now. When you realize BCIT doesn't top up parental leave benefits for association members, our efforts to recruit the young women who now dominate the nursing profession look ridiculous.
Is this really what your government intended? Isn't this something we should fix? You have the ability to fix it. Let's talk about doing that.
Paul Reniers, executive director, BCIT Faculty and Staff Association