The Nova Scotia legislature has been recalled for this Friday, as the Liberal government is planning to pass essential services legislation.
Essential services legislation significantly reduces the union’s ability to bargain with any employer.
Make no mistake. It will shift the balance of power in negotiations strongly in favour of the government. It will badly weaken the bargaining strength of every worker in the province by requiring that a significant portion of workers must stay at work in the event of a strike.
We can say goodbye to our hard-bargained claim to fair wages comparable to similar sized provinces. We can say goodbye to any chance we have of fighting for improved job security, better pensions, better vacation, all battles where we’ve had success over the last few years because we have the right to a fair strike.
So many people will be required at work during a strike that any employer will be well-positioned to gain significant claw-backs at the bargaining table.
This legislation isn’t really about public safety. It’s about control.
Allowing only a small percentage of workers in a bargaining unit to go on strike means there is little incentive to reach a deal. There will be more strikes and every strike will be long and drawn-out.
Furthermore, NSGEU health care workers in the acute care sector have always provided emergency services in the event of a strike. For example, Local 97 nurses who have just voted in favour of a strike have agreed in the past to staff places like the emergency room, veteran’s care, ICUs and cancer care in the event they did walk out.
This legislation will silence our voice and reduces our ability to fight back against a government that is compromising patient care and public services in order to cut costs.
This will drive health care and public sector workers out of Nova Scotia at a time when we’re facing shortages in many areas.
Please take a moment and send a message to your MLA, the Minister of Health, and Premier.
Thank you for your time and support on this very important issue!