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Update on Bill 100: Universities Accountability and Sustainability Act

The Rally at the Legislature on Monday, April 27 was attended by many of our members and was held in solidarity with other labour unions, student unions, and faculty associations.  Please see the bottom of this email for links to media coverage of the issue.  Unfortunately, we expect the Bill will pass this week due to a majority vote of the Liberal government.

On April 30, NSGEU members, staff, legal counsel, and supporters appeared in front of the Law Amendments Committee

On April 30 a number of NSGEU members, activists, staff and union legal counsel made presentations to the Law Amendments Committee regarding Bill 100. Section 8 of Bill 100 gives unprecedented power to the universities to take away workers’ rights. It makes it possible for a university with a “significant operating deficit” to initiate a restructuring process to produce a “revitalization plan” in order to continue to receive government funding.  Once the university enters this process, the university 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 to the revitalization plan or process.

NSGEU has been calling for the elimination of Section 8 and all related articles contained in Bill 100. The presentations to Law Amendments Committee by our members, staff, legal counsel, and supporters were informative, passionate, and important to have on record as this Bill proceeds through the house.

Government introduced amendments but Bill 100 still bans strikes and collective bargaining during the “revitalization process”.

The government announced 23 amendments to the Bill a few minutes before the Law Amendments Committee was set to begin. The opposition questioned the short time frame and tabled a motion that would have seen the government have to reintroduce the Bill with amendments in order to give sufficient time to review the changes. This motion was defeated by the majority Liberal members on the Committee.

Most of the 23 amendments are house-keeping items having to do with numbering in the Bill.  Two of the amendments however, are particularly significant for us. The first is the deletion of the clause banning grievances during the revitalization process (8(1) paragraph (d); and the second is the deletion of the clause that applies Section 8 to university mergers (Clause 13).  We are in favour of the amendments but maintain that government must remove Section 8 in its entirety and stop attacking workers’ free collective bargaining rights.

We want to thank all those who have taken the time to write in, rally, and/or speak directly to the Bill at Law Amendments. Our Post-Secondary Occupational council is meeting next Saturday, May 9 and we will let you know any next steps we are taking to continue our fight against Bill 100.

Don’t forget to join our NSGEU Facebook Community.

You can download the written submissions and see the list of presenters for Bill 100 here:

http://nslegislature.ca/index.php/committees/submissions/C96/100/

You can view Bill 100 here:

http://nslegislature.ca/legc/bills/62nd_2nd/1st_read/b100.htm

 

You can view governments proposed amendments to Bill 100 here:

http://nslegislature.ca/pdfs/committees/62_2_LACSubmissions/20150430/20150430-100-056.pdf

Media coverage of Bill 100

Click here for CBC article on introduction of Bill 100: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/nova-scotia-universities-face-increased-financial-scrutiny-with-new-bill-1.3044608

Click here for NSGEU Press Release on Bill 100: http://nsgeu.ca/?p=8751

Click here for CBC article on Bill 100 with NSGEU response: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/nova-scotia-university-law-means-unprecedented-powers-warns-nsgeu-1.3051066

Herald Video: http://thechronicleherald.ca/videos/news/4200115022001#

Metro article here: http://metronews.ca/news/halifax/1352486/this-bill-is-unconstitutional-halifax-university-faculty-students-and-staff-rally-against-bill100/

Media Coop article here: http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/blog/jhaiven/33497

Local 77 President and Board member, Darryl Warren’s letter to the editor: http://thechronicleherald.ca/letters/1283925-overkill-for-faculty-unions-free-pass-for-administration

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