Members of the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) working at Saskatchewan's two Canadian Blood Services (CBS) facilities have voted in 89 per cent in favour of a long awaited Collective Agreement.
SUN's number one concern throughout this round of negotiations was the replacement and elimination of Registered Nurses (RNs) with unlicensed providers and the impact those changes could have on the screening process and collection of blood supply.
"While we are pleased to have concluded negotiations, and we were able to provide our members with a contract with improvements," said SUN President, Tracy Zambory, RN. "We are disappointed we were unable to address our main concern around adequate, safe RN staffing levels. The replacement, reduction of RN during the screening and collection process - in our view -may pose a risk to the blood supply in Saskatchewan."
Zambory added the expert medical training, critical thinking, and assessment skills of a RN is crucial to ensuring the necessary questions are asked of donors during the screening process.
"RNs are trained to analyze each response and ask follow up questions to ensure the donor is first healthy enough to proceed and secondly ensure their donation is not compromised."
SUN maintains that the need for registered nurses within all levels of healthcare is based in research and evidence and will continue to monitor the situation with plans of revisiting the issue during the next round of negotiations.
The new contract expires March, 31, 2017.