This morning, government announced their QEII redevelopment plans, which include the eventual decommissioning of part of the Victoria General site and the construction of five new health care buildings in the Halifax area.
The NSGEU is committed to working with your employer to ensure our members’ jobs will be protected when construction is complete on these new facilities. Our understanding, based on conversations with the NSHA thus far is that the existing VG sites will remain in use until the new buildings are complete, which will be in a few years.
The new health care buildings will be built using a P3 model, which means a private company will be hired to design, build, finance and maintain the facility over a 30-year period. The employer has explained that maintenance under this contract will refer to structural, mechanical and electrical components, not patient-related services (such as food and nutrition, equipment, housekeeping or portering). Once the contract is awarded, we will have a better sense of the scope of the structural, mechanical and electrical maintenance that will be covered under the P3 contract.
I want to assure our members that we will continue to work with your employer to ensure that any members working in maintenance who may be affected by these changes in years to come will be protected.
On another note, while we are pleased to see we will finally be getting the new health care facilities that have been needed for so long now, we are disappointed to see this government has once again chosen the most expensive way to get this project done: relying on a private contractor to not only design, build and finance, but to maintain it over 30 years. Once again, we see this government is unable to deal with the crisis in our health care system by rolling up their sleeves and working alongside the front-line workers to build something together.