We received arbitrator James Dorsey’s decision on the labour representation portion of Bill 1 (the Health Authorities Act). That decision, which can be found here (http://nsgeu.ca/filemanager/pdf/DorseyFinalDecision.pdf) has determined that the NSGEU will serve as the bargaining agent for both Clerical and Health Care workers. Additionally, Mr. Dorsey has not assigned the Support Services members to any of the unions, and has refused to hand nurses to the NSNU, despite the government’s attempt to force him to do so.
Today’s decision is a vindication of democratic values in Nova Scotia.
The decision refers to the fundamental nature of employee independent choice, which was affirmed in a judgment by a majority of the Supreme Court of Canada issued in the midst of the arbitration process. In paragraph 157, he states: “It is not the government’s choice, but the employees’ choice which union will best represent their interests in collective bargaining.”
This is a true victory for workers in this province. The NSGEU went into this process with the goal of keeping our members, and we will do whatever it takes to ensure we can continue to represent each and every one of you.
The Premier’s single-minded obsession with attacking health care workers has proven to be a disaster for our health care system. Retirements and wait times are way up in critical areas and these shortages are only going to get worse. With this decision, we hope he will stop trying to legislate away workers’ rights, and finally focus his attention to improving frontline health care.
Mr. Dorsey has asked all parties for further submissions on the Nursing and Support Services units. The NSGEU looks forward to continued discussions with the other unions.
Any members looking to see whether their classification was moved between bargaining units should refer to pages 59 to 94 of the decision.
If you have questions or concerns about the decision, please contact us by calling 902-424-4063 (toll-free 1-877-556-7438) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch President Jessome’s interview with reporters on Feb. 20, 2015