Health Care Council of Unions File for Conciliation to Conclude Essential Services

Union representatives have met with representatives from Nova Scotia Health and Health Association of Nova Scotia on 13 separate occasions in an attempt to conclude an essential services agreement for the Health Care bargaining unit. Despite the unions’ best efforts, the employer has failed to produce a complete staffing plan to facilitate the process.

Unfortunately, we have repeatedly seen the employer attempt to undermine workers’ right to strike and, by extension, bargain a fair collective agreement, by refusing to meaningfully engage in the process of establishing essential services. The Council has grown frustrated with the lack of progress, and has asked for the assistance of a mediator or Conciliation Services to oversee the process.

As you know, an essential services agreement is now required under the Health Authorities Act, which is legislation that was passed by Stephen McNeil’s government in a blatant attempt to diminish the effectiveness of a strike, as the legislation effectively allows employers to drag their feet on bargaining and delay potential job action. An essential services plan is required to be in place before workers can engage in a legal strike action.

The Council has also filed for Conciliation to assist in the bargaining process, as the parties have been unable to reach an agreement with the employer despite having held nine full days of negotiations. The employer has not yet tabled any monetary proposals, as they have not received a mandate from government, despite this contract having expired on October 31, 2023.

We have advised all parties that the unions are available to meet at their convenience both for bargaining and essential services conciliation. The Council requested a series of consecutive dates for essential services conciliation, as we believe this is necessary to both end the delays and finally conclude an essential services agreement. We will advise once we have received Conciliation dates for both bargaining and essential services.

If you have questions or concerns about the bargaining process, please contact a member of your committee as follows:

Local 195 Uta Berthold-Brush,

Local 100 Veronica Drake,

Local 100 Bria MacDonald,

Local 100 Shaun Naugle,

Local 122 Peter Perry,

Local 122 Natalie Steele Quinn,

Lead Negotiator Lynette Johnson,

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