The BCNU Collective Agreement and Parental Leave: What You Need to Know
If you are a registered nurse who is a member of the British Columbia Nurses` Union (BCNU), you may be wondering about your rights and benefits when it comes to parental leave. In this article, we will take a closer look at the BCNU Collective Agreement and parental leave, and provide you with the information you need to know.
The BCNU Collective Agreement is a legally binding document that sets out the terms and conditions of employment for registered nurses in British Columbia. One of the key provisions of the agreement is the parental leave provision, which allows registered nurses to take time off from work to care for a newborn or newly adopted child.
Under the BCNU Collective Agreement, registered nurses are entitled to up to 18 months of parental leave. The first 17 weeks are considered to be maternity leave and are reserved for the birth mother. The remaining 61 weeks can be taken by either parent and are referred to as parental leave.
During the period of parental leave, registered nurses are entitled to continue to receive their regular salary, subject to certain conditions. For example, the nurse must have been employed for at least six months prior to the start of the leave and must return to work for at least three months after the leave is over.
In addition, registered nurses who take parental leave are entitled to continue to receive the same health and welfare benefits as if they were working. This includes benefits such as medical and dental coverage, life insurance, and disability benefits.
It is important to note that the BCNU Collective Agreement also provides for a top-up of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits during the period of parental leave. The top-up will bring the nurse`s income to 75% of their regular salary for the first 17 weeks of maternity leave and for the first six weeks of parental leave. For the remaining 55 weeks of parental leave, the top-up will bring the nurse`s income to 70% of their regular salary.
To be eligible for the top-up of EI benefits, the registered nurse must have been employed for at least six months prior to the start of the leave and must return to work for at least three months after the leave is over.
In conclusion, the BCNU Collective Agreement provides registered nurses with generous rights and benefits when it comes to parental leave. If you are a BCNU member planning to take parental leave, it is important to familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of the agreement to ensure that you receive all of the benefits to which you are entitled.