Bargaining Update: Health Support Services Bargaining Unit

Dear member,

In our previous update to members, we informed you that on Wednesday May 17, 2022 the Health Support Bargaining Unit (NSGEU, Unifor 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. Unfortunately, conciliation has yet to result in a tentative agreement.

Employers asked for one more day to resume talks. As recommended by the Conciliator, the Committee has agreed to one more – AND ONLY ONE MORE – day of conciliation. After this next date of August 15, 2022 there will be no more extensions or additional days. The Employers must come to the table and effectively bargain.

Strike preparations have begun with each of the unions to prepare for strike votes and possible job action if we reach an impasse on August 15th. You will be notified of strike votes in your area and facility if they need to be scheduled.

Your Bargaining Committee is focused on attaining the best possible collective agreement for you. There are a small number of outstanding language items that need to be resolved, however, monetary provisions remain the largest outstanding issues. We have heard our members loud and clear that wages are just not enough with the rate of inflation and the rising cost of living. We know there are many in this bargaining unit who need and deserve to make a living wage. 

The current wage offer presented by the Employers is just not enough and the Employers and government need to do better. The Bargaining Committee has presented a fair wage package that will benefit the membership, and it is critical that Employers respect that position.

We take Premier Houston at his word when he claims he wants to fix health care.

The issues in our health care system are caused by, and magnified by, a lack of qualified workers across nearly every classification and specialty. This will continue if wages and benefits are not fair and reasonable for workers. Premier Houston must direct his government to pay you a fair and decent wage and offer the respect you all deserve.

Your Bargaining Committee will remain persistent with this demand and will continue to fight for a fair and reasonable wage package that every member in this Bargaining Unit deserves.

The Health Support Bargaining Committee is comprised of more than three thousand members represented by NSGEU, Unifor and CUPE 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 keep patients and staff fed, facilities operational, cleaned and sterilized, so hospitals can remain open and keep everyone safe. You are crucial in helping to stop the spread of Covid in hospitals and other facilities during the worst times of this pandemic. You work tirelessly every day to ensure the health and safety of the most vulnerable and sick patients within Nova Scotia hospitals including the IWK Children’s Hospital.

We all know there would be no health care without the Health Support Bargaining Unit and it is now time for Premier Houston to know it too. If he truly respects us – then recognize our worth and pay us appropriately.

Please watch your emails, post this notice and reach out if you have any questions or concerns. You will receive an update immediately following our last day of conciliation on August 15th.

If you have questions or concerns about the bargaining process, please contact a member of the Committee:

Gina Boyd, Chief Negotiator,

Joseph Boudreau,

Christian Collins,

Robert Forbes,

Raymond Theriault,

Gary Slaunwhite,

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