October 15, 2014Honourable Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia Office of the Premier 7th Floor, One Government Place 1700 Granville Street, PO Box 726 Halifax, NS B3J 2T3
Dear Premier McNeil:
On behalf of 26,000 members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE), I am writing to express my displeasure with the Health Authorities Act which your government recently passed.
While the Union I represent does not represent any workers in your province, we do have experience representing health care workers. This recent move forces the consolidation of health authorities in your Province, while simultaneously removing the ability for health care workers to have a say in the selection of the union that represents them in the workplace. We, therefore, see it as an attack on workers’ rights and a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As a result, and in solidarity with health care workers in Nova Scotia, we must voice our disapproval with this legislation in the strongest terms.
The imposition of this Act, with little to no prior consultation with the affected unions and the members they represent, coupled with the forced membership conscription process that the Act puts in place, will create a poisoned labour relations environment that will negatively affect your province for years to come. Experience in this province, and elsewhere, has demonstrated that engaging with unions produces more effective and productive outcomes than imposing legislation without consultation.
I am calling on your government to repeal this legislation and go back to the drawing board with the health care unions and their members to find a better way forward for your province’s health care system.
Carol A. FurlongPresident, Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public & Private Employees.