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Arbitration Decision: Response to Health Minister’s Comments

As you may have heard through media reports this afternoon, the Liberal government intends to overturn arbitrator James Dorsey’s decision. That decision awards both the Clerical and Health Care bargaining units to the NSGEU, as we hold the majority of members in these units, and calls on the unions to come together to form amalgamated unions in the Support Services and Nursing units.

The Minister of Health and Wellness, Leo Glavine, was so displeased with Mr. Dorsey’s decision that he told media that he was effectively firing Mr. Dorsey, and may not pay him for the work he has done to-date. To resolve the labour component of Bill 1, the government has decided to introduce more legislation, which will assign each of the units (Nursing, Support Services and Clerical) to each of the four unions (NSGEU, NSNU, Unifor and CUPE). Mr. Glavine announced that only Health Care workers would be represented by the NSGEU, while representation for the other three units has yet to be determined.

Mr. Glavine’s statements only reinforce what the NSGEU has been saying since the day Bill 1 was introduced: this is government is dictating labour representation, and taking away health care workers’ right to choose their union representation.

Our members are rightfully disgusted by this government’s lack of respect. This government cannot even respect the process put in place by their own legislation.

We are now in the process of assessing our options, including some of the proposed classification changes which would see people moved between bargaining units, as we share these members’ concerns.

We are planning to hold emergency telephone town hall meetings with each of the units this Sunday, and will be in touch shortly with the details of these calls.

You can watch President Joan Jessome speak to the media after Mr. Dorsey’s decision was received by clicking here, and see what she has to say about the Minister’s comments by clicking here.

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