The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) represents 1,585 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in five health regions in Saskatchewan. For years, CUPE has provided strong representation for our members in the nursing profession.
Bargaining for better pay and benefits
Licensed Practical Nurses have benefitted from the historic bargaining gains CUPE has made over the years. Some of the gains over the last two decades include:
- The merger of collective agreements for acute and long term care, ensuring common working conditions and benefits.
- The implementation of joint job evaluation.
- The creation of a Provincial Employment Strategy Committee that funds upgrading and retraining.
- Portability of benefits within CUPE health regions if a health care worker changes employers.
- Improvements to pension plan funding and the creation of a jointly trusteed pension plan in 2003 so that workers don't retire in poverty.
- Paid family illness days.
- Language to address workload.
- Significant wage increases as a result of the joint job evaluation plan.
- Protection of bargaining unit work.
The Scoop on Scope: CUPE's work on full scope of practice for LPNs
Prepared a report and presented to 5 RHAs.
16 Roundtable Discussions
CUPE's LPN Committee completed 16 roundtable discussions with LPNs in five health regions. The consultations provided a chance for LPNs to discuss workplace and professional concerns. Input from the roundtables was used to develop a new CUPE campaign for LPNs in the province.
LPN Day & Support
CUPE Health Care Council celebrates and promotes LPN day with newspaper ads and workplace posters, and continues this support for LPNs every year since. CUPE prepared a brief, "A Practical Solution to the Nursing Shortage" and presented its strategic plan to SAHO, five health regions and the provincial government. CUPE also organized news conferences and developed a television ad which promoted the "full utilization of LPNs as one practical solution to the nursing shortage."
SIAST LPN Training
SIAST contacted CUPE requesting permission to use our video, The Health Care Journey: Utilizing Licensed Practical Nurses to Full Scope of Practice, as part of its educational component of LPN training.
SALPN developed its own questionnaire for LPNs on scope of practice, based on CUPE's survey. The SALPN survey was the first province-wide survey of LPNs.
CUPE's LPN Committee met with the Deputy Minister of Health, the Associate Deputy Minister of Health and the Principal Nursing Advisory to promote full scope of practice for LPNs.
5 Health Regions Meetings
CUPE representatives and LPNs met with the boards of all five health regions to discuss full utilization of LPNs. CUPE also arranged news conferences in five major centres to profile the concerns of LPNs.
CUPE conducted a survey of LPNs in the five health regions where LPNs are represented by CUPE. This was the first major survey of LPNs in the province. CUPE Research prepared a report summarizing the results of our survey and highlighting five workplaces in five health regions that used LPNs to their full scope of practice. CUPE also produced a video called The Health Care Journey: Utilizing Licensed Practical Nurses to Full Scope of Practice.
Amendments to The Licensed Practical Nurses Act
The Saskatchewan government introduced amendments to The Licensed Practical Nurses Act that enable LPNs to work without the direct supervision of a RN or doctor. CUPE called on health districts to implement full scope of practice for LPNs.
CUPE developed a brief to promote the full scope of practice of LPNs. LPNs and CUPE representatives made presentations to the boards of 18 health districts. They also presented the brief to the Minister of Health on May 12, 1999.