B.C.'s nurses' union reaches tentative five-year deal, with details to come

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VICTORIA - British Columbia's nurses union has reached a tentative five-year contract agreement with the Health Employers of B.C.

Health Minister Terry Lake says the deal covers 42,000 nurses and is in line with a government mandate, which offers employees a wage bonus if economic growth is one per cent above forecast.

While no details of the agreement are being released until after the ratification vote, B.C. Nurses Union president Gayle Duteil says the deal improves conditions for nurses and patients.

She says nurses will also have better benefits, compensation and working conditions.

Duteil says the deal addresses major issues of staffing and workload, key factors for nurses who have been coping with shortages and a failure to replace and educate nurses as needed.

Ratification votes will take place across the province over the next month and results will be made available on May 10.

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