Health Support Bargaining Unit Bargaining Update
On Wednesday, May 17th, 2022, the Health Support Bargaining Unit (Unifor, NSGEU and CUPE) reached an impasse in bargaining a new collective agreement with Nova Scotia Health and the IWK.
As a result, two days of Conciliation were scheduled, with the first one occurring July 19th, 2022. This means both the unions and employers are using an outside mediation officer to attempt to finalize bargaining.
The bargaining committee met on Monday July 18th prior to meeting with the employers to focus on and finalize the proposals that have the greatest importance to their membership.
The first day of Conciliation did not result in a “deal.” There are a small number of outstanding language items that will need to be resolved, but monetary provisions are the largest outstanding issues. Your committee is focused on attaining the best possible collective agreement for their members. We have heard our members loud and clear that wages are just not enough with the rate of inflation and cost of living. We know that there are many in this bargaining unit that need and deserve to make a living wage. The committee knows that the current wage offer presented by the employers is just not enough and the employers and government need to do better. The committee has presented the employers with a fair wage package that will benefit the membership and it is critical that employers respect that position. If Premier Houston really wants to fix healthcare, he must pay these workers a fair and decent wage and respect them.
The Health Support Bargaining Committee is comprised of over 3,000 members represented by Unifor, CUPE and NSGEU from all areas of the province. They work in classifications such as Maintenance, Power Engineering, Plumbers, Electricians, Laundry, Food Services and Environmental Services. The members of this bargaining unit kept patients and staff fed, and facilities operational, clean and safe so hospitals could remain open throughout the pandemic. They were crucial in helping to stop the spread of COVID in hospitals and other facilities during the worst times of the pandemic. They worked tirelessly to ensure the health and safety of the most vulnerable and sick patients was protected within the hospitals of Nova Scotia, including the IWK Health Centre. Some of these classifications have numerous unfilled vacancies which are hard to recruit new applicants to because of the low salaries and lack of permanent employment, which has in turn left our members working long hours with few days off during the worst of the pandemic.
The committee does have another date scheduled of Conciliation on July 28th, 2022. We remain committed to fighting to get our members the best possible agreement that we can. Please watch your emails, post this notice and reach out if you have any questions or concerns. You will receive an update after our July 28th meeting on what our next steps will be.
If you have questions or concerns about the bargaining process, please contact a member of the committee:
Gina Boyd, Chief Negotiator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph Boudreau, email@example.com
Christian Collins, firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Forbes, email@example.com
Raymond Theriault, firstname.lastname@example.org
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