? Union of Psychiatric Nurses of British Columbia - UPN - UPNBC
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The 2014 convention of the Union of Psychiatric Nurses shall begin on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 Commencing at 0900h, at Spirit Ridge Resort in Osoyoos at 1200 Rancher Creek Road.

Full Details and Registration Form HERE.

UPN Election results (Directors):

The sucessful candidates were:

Lola Backeland
Sue Bateman

UPN congratulates the winners and thanks all who participated.

Clara's Big Ride Highlites from the road

Hello everyone,

I hope you're all doing well! We have had an incredible first 14 days of the Ride and have seen everything from an 850 person dinner in Chatham, to 7,000+ people filling the Bell Centre to rock out for mental health in Montreal, to students from 35 schools coming together for a youth event in London. At every event we are inspired by the work being done in communities by individuals like yourselves.

Each and every one of you has contributed to the success of the Big Ride, as we continue to elevate the mental health conversation in a truly meaningful way. Community by community, kilometre by kilometre, as Clara states – this is becoming Canada's Big Ride collectively helping end the stigma around mental illness.

Thought you might enjoy the wonderful work of our CTV crew with this week 1 highlight reel. Please feel free to download the video and share with your networks. http://review.bellmedia.ca/view/1367463046 Thank you again for joining the team – you're all in this peloton!

Dana Brown

Engagement Manager


The Union of Psychiatric Nurses welcomes Garnet Zimmerman as Executive Director.

Langley, B.C. February 24, 2014 – UNION OF PSYCHIATRIC NURSES announces the appointment of Garnet Zimmerman as Executive Director. "Garnet has been a key part of our success in the past year, and we are thrilled to welcome him to this important position," said Dan Murphy, President of the Union of Psychiatric Nurses. "We plan to further promote Psychiatric Nurses and the UPN across British Columbia and Canada and we are confident that Garnet will be an important asset to help our organization reach its goals," said Dan Murphy. For more information please contact: UNION OF PSYCHIATRIC NURSES
211-20644 Eastleigh Crescent, Langley, B.C.
V3A 4C4 Canada 604-530-9253 1-877-931-2471
Mailbox @upnbc.org

upn appoints new member/benefits coordinator

The UPN is pleased to announce the appointment of Sue Bateman to the position of Member/Benefits Co-ordinator. Sue will be an asset to the UPN team as we move forward to a stronger Union focussed on promoting and representing the RPN profession both Provincially and Federally.

As our Member/Benefits Co-ordinator, Sue will be undertaking the responsibility of representing our members with disability/benefits issues. Sue has experience in Gradual Return to Work Programs, Duty To Accommodate, Disability Management, WorkSafe BC, Long Term Disability claims as well as employer and CRPNBC practice undertakings.

As our Member Co-ordinator, Sue will be a direct liaison between our Members and the Union administration. Communication with our Membership is extremely important and vitally necessary as your Union moves forward in developing programs and training opportunities for the RPNs.

I am sure that given everything we already know about Sue that she will no doubt prove to be a valuable member of the UPN team

Garnet Zimmerman

Executive Director


The President would like to thank the UPN Council, Staff and Membership for their continuous support without which the achievements gained in the last term would not have been possible. The President is looking forward to the next three years and continuing his current mandate of promoting the RPNs and The Union of Psychiatric Nurses across British Columbia and Canada.

Bargaining Proposals - 2014 NBA Negotiations – Input needed

The UPN is seeking member input on bargaining proposals for upcoming NBA negotiations for a new collective agreement. To assist, we have developed a questionnaire to help guide you in the process. Please take the time to review and complete the questionnaire. When you are finished you can fax it to the UPN Office @604-530-9653 or send it via email to: mailbox@upnbc.org. Your participation is vital to the success of negotiations.

Download questionnaire HERE

The Spotlite is on . . .

Lola Backeland RPN

Lola Backeland graduated from BCIT in 1983. She was, as the vernacular would have it, a "mature student;" having worked as a cook and ward clerk for several years prior to entering college. In fact, she did so as a single mom of three children. As it turned out, Lola actually attended BCIT with two of her children; her daughter being in nuclear medicine, her son in electronics?telecommunications. The third child was still in school.

At BCIT, her daughter's classmates thought that Lola was "pretty cool." Lola added: "But of course, my daughter didn't think I was cool – very few younger people regard their own parents as cool." The students felt this way because Lola was "having fun." Lola said: "I was a student again – something I always wanted. And I was with a diverse group of 19 to 54 year-olds. I was in the middle, and could more or less identify with everyone."

Lola's interest was in abnormal psychology from the start. Throughout her nursing career, forensic nursing has always been her first choice. This area both intrigued Lola and inspired her to discover why people deviated from societal norms; and yet, how as a professional psychiatric nurse, she could assist some of them to make better choices in their lives. While it is true that this area of practice can be stressful at times, Lola always found it fascinating.more >>>


UPN wins vote

The UPN is pleased to note that seven sites that were represented by HSA have now overwhelmingly voted in favour of becoming members of the UPN.

We would like to thank all of those who supported us on this decision and to extend a warm welcome to you as new members of our Union. We want to assure you that we are here to represent you and to listen to what you have to say about your profession, your work environment and your aspirations as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse.

We are planning to visit these worksites in the near future so that we can get better acquainted and to discuss the needs of these members. We are also planning to hold Steward Training sessions in January to better enable members to know their rights and how to advocate for them.

We have several other worksites that are awaiting results of their votes. We hope to provide you with more good news in the near future. Once again, thank you for your support and welcome to the UPN.

Educational opportunities fund returns.

UPN is pleased to announce the return of the Educational Opportunities Fund. Bursaries from this fund are used for the clinical education of nurses and include the upgrading of nursing skills. All active UPN members are eligible to apply for this funding. The current maximum that will be paid out to an individual annually is $4,000.

Application Form

Funding Details

UPN Welcomes all RPNs

One Profession One Union

The Union of Psychiatric Nurses of British Columbia would like to extend a warm welcome to our counterparts at HSA and offer you the opportunity to be part of a professional union that supports and unites ONLY Registered Psychiatric Nurses. Uniting RPNs in a strong, profession-focussed union will strengthen our profession's ability to negotiate better contracts and practice conditions while advocating for improved mental health and addictions care in British Columbia.

The UPN is the only Registered Psychiatric Nursing union in Canada. It's a fact that no one can understand and advocate for RPNs better than other RPNs. The Union of Psychiatric Nurses has been doing just that since 1965. Our roots reach back even further, to September 4th, 1947, when the first Psychiatric Nurses' Association in Canada was formed here in British Columbia.

Click HERE to print/read new information pamphlet

HSA Members click HERE.

Any Questions? Forward your questions to joinnow@ telus.net

"Turning the spotlite on our members"

In the coming weeks and months the website and Spotlite Magazine will showcase some of UPN's front-line practitioners by telling their stories and highlighting what a unique group of care professionals RPN's are. This month we are "turning the Spotlite" on Lola Backeland RPN. Do you know an RPN who deserves to have the Spotlite focussed on them? If you do, send your recommendation along to Yves Chinnapen, Chair, UPN Communications Committee for consideration.

Transfer from the Public Service Takes Place June 1

Forensic Psychiatric Services, Oak Bay Lodge and the Lodge at Broadmead Impacted

On March 28, the B.C. Public Service Agency advised us that they were removing Forensic Psychiatric Services (FPSC), Oak Bay Lodge and the Lodge at Broadmead from the Public Service effective June 1, 2013. FPSC and Oak Bay were to be moved to the Health Sector and the Lodge at Broadmead would become an independent employer. This letter can be found by clicking the link Notice Letter.

This brings about some very significant changes, especially for those members working at FPSC and Oak Bay Lodge, as the move to the Health Sector would entail a transition to a completely different collective agreement. With Broadmead, the employer intends to remain under the 15th Master until it expires on March 31, 2014 and then negotiate separately from then on.

Shortly after receiving this notice we entered into talks with the government and learned that they did not consider this a change in employers and therefore they did not believe that our members had a choice in remaining with their employer or taking their displacement rights as found in Article 13 of the 15th Master. We categorically disagree with the government's position and, after some discussion, filed a General Application Grievance claiming that there was indeed a change in employer and that our members should have all of their Article 13 rights including the right to opt for severance pay.

Since then, John Hall has been appointed as sole arbitrator for this case and we have July 31 and August 1, 2013 set aside for the hearing. As this will take place after the June 1 transition, we have also received undertakings that, if we should win our case, all employees of the effected agencies will be offered their Article 13 rights at that time.

We have also been actively involved in working out a transfer agreement for FPSC and Oak Bay Lodge. We have had several meetings with representatives of the Government, Health Employers Association (HEABC), FPSC and Oak Bay management present. While we have not yet completed talks on the transfer agreement, most of it has been agreed to and there are only a couple of matters remaining to finalize. You can review the tentative agreement by clicking the link transfer agreement.

With the move from the 15th Master to the Provincial Collective Agreement (PCA) you will note that there are quite a few changes to your working conditions. Some are for the better while others are not so good (see comparison document). Through our transfer agreement talks, we have tried to lessen the negative impacts in some of these areas. For example, while you will be losing STIIP, your sick leave banks will be "seeded" with 10 sick days per year of service up to the maximum allowable.

During talks, we also spent quite a bit of time determining how the change from a 35 hour week to a 37.5 hour week would impact your schedules. While you will lose your surplus days because of this, we have come to the conclusion that there is no need to radically alter your rotations. Those on a 4:2 rotation can remain on the same rotation and need only work ten minutes more per shift. Members working a 5:2 shift will see no change. In the community, if you were working a 9-day fortnight, this can still be retained however, you will need to work an extra 33 minutes per shift. You can review the rotation calculations by clicking on one of the links: 4:2, 5:2, or 9-day fortnight.

One major question that we don't have an answer for yet deals with classifications. The classification system in the Health Sector is significantly different to that in the Public Service and, in some instances; the classifications don't align with each other. We have been constantly asking the employer for information on how they see our members being classified but they say they haven't completed their determination yet. All we can do is wait and see at this point. Once they make their determination, we hope that it will be a fair one. If it isn't, then we will have to sit down with those members who are negatively impacted and figure out what kind of a case can be made for disputing the classifications. As I say, until they advise us of what the classifications are, we can only hope that it will be reasonable and fair.

For those members at the Lodge at Broadmead, we hope to be over there soon to discuss any concerns you may have and to discuss strategies for bargaining at the end of the year. We believe you will see little noticeable change after June 1 and so we have focused more on the other two groups who are facing much more change. This doesn't mean that we have forgotten you. You are important to us and we will do our best to support you through this change.

We recognize that this is a major change for many of you who have spent your entire nursing career in the Public Service. Should you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact us either by email or by calling the office.

College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of BC   Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Canada   Canadian Mental Health Association   CAMINH   BC Health Coalition   Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions   British Columbia Nurses' Union