April 23/15 – The McNeil Liberal government is once again attacking workers’ rights, this time under the guise of making universities more accountable. “In the same way that Bills 1 and Bill 37 attacked healthcare worker’s rights, Bill 100 (the Universities Accountability and Sustainability Act.), introduced on April 22, will create a tool to do exactly the same thing to unionized workers throughout the University sector.”, said NSGEU President Joan Jessome.
Jessome noted that in 26 of the clauses in that Bill, there are 34 sections and subsections pertaining to unions and collective bargaining rights. What Bill 100 will do is if a University wants to enter into a revitalization process and if it determines it has a “significant operating deficit”, the University gets broad, sweeping powers with respect to workers’ rights. It can forbid the signing of any collective agreement, ban strikes, and take away the ability of unionized employees to start or continue any grievance that relates in whole or in part to the development of the revitalization plan or process.
“In giving Universities these unprecedented powers with this Bill,” she said, “the McNeil Liberals are once again attacking workers, while at the same time, eroding the relative autonomy of our Universities.. How many court challenges and Supreme Court of Canada decisions will it take for this Government to realise that the right to strike is a Constitutional Right?” asked Jessome.
Jessome concluded that: “Bill 100 is a heavy handed tool being given to the employer while trampling on the rights of workers. What is worse is that this Government is trying to sneak this past Nova Scotians. This is a Government that has shown once again it has a complete disdain for workers’ rights confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada.”
The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union represents over 30,000 women and men who provide quality public services Nova Scotians count on every day.
For more information, please contact:
Deedee Slye, NSGEU Communications Officer 902-424-4063 (office) 902-497-6761 (cell) firstname.lastname@example.org