Today, we learned the provincial government has reached a tentative agreement with Doctors Nova Scotia, the group negotiating on behalf of physicians in this province. While we are pleased that one group of workers in Nova Scotia seems to have finally made some progress at the bargaining table, we are concerned that one group of workers is receiving preferential treatment.
“It certainly seems as though this government is taking a different approach to bargaining with doctors than with other public sector workers,” notes NSGEU President Jason MacLean.
The government is not releasing details of the doctors’ tentative agreement until members have had an opportunity to vote on it. Yet, with other groups of public sector workers, such as the civil servants, education and health care workers, the government actually released their full proposals to the public via their website.
“Why is government respecting Doctors Nova Scotia’s right to bring the offer to their members first, but not doing the same for the NSGEU?” asks MacLean.
It has also been reported in the media that government officials made the decision to bypass the standard procurement process and appoint a lawyer of their choosing to lead negotiations with the doctors, at an exorbitant cost to taxpayers: up to $440,000.
“At a time when Premier Stephen McNeil insists we cannot afford cost of living increases for public sector workers we all rely on every day – nurses; education and health care workers; civil servants – it is shocking he is willing to pay one man almost half a million dollars for one round of contract negotiations,” said MacLean.
The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union represents over 31,000 women and men who provide quality public services Nova Scotian’s count on every day.
For more information, please contact:
Holly Fraughton, NSGEU Communications Officer