05/10/2012 01:41 EDT | Updated 07/10/2012 05:12 EDT

Licensed practical nurses to vote on switching to B.C. Nurses Union

VANCOUVER - The B.C. Nurses Union has won the latest battle in a bitter war to represent the province's licensed practical nurses.

The Labour Relations Board confirms a majority of B.C.'s estimated 6,000 LPNs have signed cards with the BCNU.

That clears the way for a future mail-in ballot to decide which union should represent LPNs, who provide pre- and post-operative personal care, change dressings, monitor vital signs and medical equipment and perform other nursing duties.

Incoming BCNU vice-president Christine Sorenson says the union is thrilled with the labour board ruling to allow nurses to choose their labour affiliation.

But the Hospital Employees Union notes the BCNU has previously opposed recognition of LPNs as nurses and spokesman Mike Old vows a fight to retain members currently represented by the HEU or BC Government and Service Employees Union.

The BCNU has tried to woo LPNs for several years and was sanctioned by the B.C. Federation of Labour and Canadian Labour Congress in 2009 after they ruled the union was conducting an illegal raid. (CHNL)