Administrative Professionals of Acute Care: Frequently Asked Questions

1.   Why can’t we ask for the same deal the nurses just got?
We tabled our proposals in October 2022 and anything that would be related to that, which is now in the nurses’ deal, can be discussed when we return to the table. For example, we proposed enhancements to our vacation language. As this was part of the nurses’ agreement, we are now able to bring that back for discussion. But we need the employer to return to the table so we can finalize a fair deal.

2.   Will we be returning to the bargaining table?
The Council of Unions have been pushing since August 2023 to get the employer back to the bargaining table. It is possible, but both parties have to agree to meet. So far, the employers have failed to provide dates to return to the table.

3.   Why is it taking so long to develop an essential services plan?
The Council of Unions completed their essential services plans and filed them with the employers on May 11th. The employer insisted on providing only the number of FTEs that it seeks on a weekly basis in each given area. The unions need to know what the actual daily staffing levels on each floor are in order to negotiate an essential services plan.

The parties met in June and July to try to resolve this dispute. The employers still refused to provide key details. As a result, the unions filed a complaint with the Labour Board. The parties met with the Labour Board on August 21st and 423 to the problem.

As part of the resolution, the employers were to present their revised plan on September 1st and then provide the unions with information including Christmas schedules for all units. As we communicated last week, the employers substantially changed their plans when they presented them on September 1st and the
unions are now quickly reviewing the new documents. Additionally, the employers
failed to provide all the Christmas schedules by September 1st as they agreed
to do in the mediation.

We believe these delays are a tactic by the employers to delay strike action. The unions are working as quickly as they can to complete essential services plans despite these obstacles: the unions will be meeting on Monday, September 11th to develop
responses to the employers’ new proposals, and will be resuming essential
services negotiations with the employers later next week.

4.   What does this mean for the timing of our strike?
As we have said in the past, we can’t proceed with any job action until Essential Services plans are in place. The unions are working as fast as we can to get the bargaining unit into a strike position this fall. We will keep the membership informed.

5.   Will we need to hold another strike vote?
No. The strike vote is valid for six months and that time can be extended under the Trade Union Act.

6.   What happens if we just walk off the job?
It would be in violation of Article 6 of the Collective Agreement. As we found out during the one-day walkout by the nurses in 2014, members who walk off the job can be threatened with fines, as well as disciplinary action by the employer.  nsh423

7.   Why are we not seeing anything in the media about our negotiations or potential strike?
Most Nova Scotians aren’t paying attention to the news in August. The unions undertook an awareness campaign including some radio ads during the summer. But our main objective was to prepare for a much larger media campaign in the fall. At this point, the employers have still failed to confirm dates to return to the table, and as a
result, the unions will be launching their media campaign in the coming days.

8.   How can I get involved?
First, complete the e-action we launched in August, if you haven’t done so already (more than 500 NSGEU members have sent messages in, so far)! Second, stay tuned. The unions will be rolling out opportunities for you to begin taking action shortly. We will need your involvement.

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