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Press Release: Nova Scotia Council of Health Care Unions announce strike vote

After more than a year of bargaining the Nova Scotia Health Care Council of Unions is announcing that it will soon hold Nova Scotia’s first ever province-wide Health Care Bargaining Unit strike vote.

The Council of Unions says the Employer’s representing the NSHA and IWK have slowed the pace of bargaining significantly over the last two months.  The Council of Unions have tabled an entire collective agreement package, while the Employers have only tabled individual proposals. The Council of Unions believes that the only way to get the NSHA and IWK to take health care bargaining seriously is to initiate a province-wide strike vote.

The Nova Scotia Council of Health Care Unions includes the NSGEU, CUPE, Unifor and NSNU. The Health Care Bargaining Unit represents 6500 health care members.  The NSGEU is the Chief negotiator with CUPE as the Deputy negotiator.

The 6500 members represented by the Council of Health Care Unions needs to send Stephen McNeil a message that he direct the Employers to take bargaining seriously and get a deal done. Considerable time and resources have gone into these negotiations and it is time to get a deal so the government can refocus their attention on addressing the crisis in health care.

Details of the strike vote will be released in the coming days.

All the votes of Health Care Bargaining Unit members from all the unions at both the NSHA and IWK will be counted together as required by the constitution. Each of the four Unions will conduct their own votes, including holding information sessions as required. The result of the vote will be made public.

It is important to note that the Council of Unions is not walking away from the table. There are more conciliation dates set for April and May – and the Council of Unions will be there.  The Council of Unions is requesting that the Employers to come to the table ready to actually bargain.  Health care members from one end of this province to the other deserve a new collective agreement.

The Council of Unions, NSHA and IWK have further conciliation dates set for April 10th, 11th, 12th and again on May 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

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Key Facts: Nova Scotia Councils of Unions

  • The Four Councils were created through the Health Authorities Act in April of 2015.
  • The Councils conduct collective bargaining and essential services negotiations with the IWK and the Nova Scotia Health Authority on behalf of 24,361 unionised health workers.

The Nova Scotia Council of Health Care Unions

Lead Union Negotiator – NSGEU

Deputy Lead Union Negotiator – CUPE

Membership Total: 6,506 (5,692 at the NSHA, 814 at IWK)

    • NSGEU – 3,808
    • CUPE – 1,940
    • Unifor – 751
    • NSNU – 7

The Nova Scotia Council of Health Administrative Professional Unions

Lead Union Negotiator – CUPE

Deputy Lead Union Negotiator – NSGEU

Members total: 4,213 (3602 at the NSHA, 611 at the IWK)

    • NSGEU – 2,979
    • CUPE – 1,195
    • Unifor – 35
    • NSNU – 4

The Nova Scotia Council of Health Support Unions

Lead Union Negotiator – Unifor

Deputy Lead Union Negotiator – NSGEU

Membership Total: 4,029 (3,689 at the NSHA, 340 at the IWK)

    • NSGEU – 1,853
    • CUPE – 1,093
    • Unifor – 1,082
    • NSNU – 1

The Nova Scotia Council of Nursing Unions 

Lead Union Negotiator – NSNU

Deputy Lead Union Negotiator – NSGEU

Membership Total: 9,613 (8,543 at the NSHA, 1,070 at the IWK)

    • NSNU – 5,149
    • NSGEU – 3,507
    • CUPE – 484
    • Unifor – 473

Media Contacts:

NSGEU Lucas Wide (902) 497-5010            CUPE Colleen Reynolds (902) 809-2253

NSNU Coleen Logan  (902) 486-0283          Unifor Natalie Clancy (902) 478-9238

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:

Lucas Wide

NSGEU Communications Officer

902-424-4063 (office)  902-497-5010 (cell)

877-556.7438 (toll free) communications@nsgeu.ca

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