BRITISH COLUMBIA

Agreement between midwives and B.C. born from months of negotiations

12/16/2014 01:34 EST | Updated 02/15/2015 05:59 EST
VICTORIA - After months of negotiations, British Columbia and its registered midwives have reached a five-year agreement.

The Midwives Association of BC has successfully bargained for a variety of resources to serve rural and remote communities along with funding for clinical education services at the University of British Columbia.

The province says the agreement includes a modest compensation increase, $1.6 million in investments to improve access to midwifery, and another $200,000 for service expansions that are still under discussion.

The deal comes after the midwives issued 90-days notice to the provincial Ministry of Health to terminate its agreement and withdrew clinical education services at UBC last July.

The action was taken in protest over what the midwives previously said was a widening gap in maternity care — particularly in rural, First Nations and northern communities.

The midwives say 93 per cent of participating members have now voted in favour of the new deal,that expires on March 31, 2019.