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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The origins and development of collective bargaining by nurses in British Columbia, 1912-76 Goldstone, Irene Lynn


Collective bargaining by nurses in British Columbia began in the mid 1940's, but the origins of concern about the terms and conditions of employment of nurses are identified as existing prior to the founding of the Registered Nurses Association of British Columbia. The Board and Annual minutes, 1912-76, of the Association were examined and selected materials such as journals and interviews were reviewed to triangulate the validity of the data. Applying grounded theory (Glaser and Strauss, 1967) to the data, dominant and secondary themes reflecting the Association's activities and concerns emerged. Analysis of the themes generated the categories of control of the work force, control of work practice and control of the work environment. That is, during the period under study, the Association struggled to exercise control over an uncertain environment. A series of strategies which the Association pursued are examined. Two groups within the Association are identified; cosmopolitans and locals (Merton, 1957). Discontent amongst the locals, the importance of which was recognized by the cosmopolitans resulted in the efforts of the Association shifting to concentrate on the control of the work environment. This process resulted in the entry of the Association into collective bargaining.

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