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Government is Legislating Away Your Union Representation & Collective Agreement

Premier Stephen McNeil plans to take away your hard-earned rights and benefits, and says “health care workers don’t care” who represent them. We need you to send this government a very clear message that Premier McNeil is wrong.

Premier McNeil revealed to media yesterday that he is rejecting the Bargaining Association proposal put forward by all four unions (for more information on the proposed model, click here). Instead, they will legislate all health care workers into bargaining units that will be represented by a union of Premier McNeil’s choosing.

As one news headline said: “Government to dictate which unions represent health-care workers.” Workers deserve a chance to vote to determine which union will represent them in the tough rounds of bargaining that lie ahead.

Under this legislation, the NSGEU will only represent one group of health care workers.

A mediator will be appointed to decide on differences between collective agreements. So, for example, if you are a nurse and you are forced into the NSNU, which has a different sick leave plan, a mediator will decide which plan you end up with.

This legislation will absolutely threaten the rights and benefits of almost 24,000 health care workers in this province. It will also change the face of your union forever.

You must join us in this fight. We need you to show up now more than ever. If you don’t stand up, you stand to lose every right and benefit that has been achieved over the years.

The government was dishonest with unions and our members over the past few months. It is now apparent the government was not actually attempting to streamline bargaining: they asked us to reduce the number of collective agreements, and our proposal did just that. It is now clear the government’s true intent was to weaken union representation of health care workers so it will be easier for government to enact wage restraint and take away hard-earned rights and benefits.

Union representation is a fundamental human right. Even if the government refuses to work with the unions cooperatively, at the very least, workers should have the right to decide which union will represent them in the future.

If you are not a health care worker, you should still be very worried about this government’s dishonest tactics. They are coming for civil service workers, next: wage restraint, layoffs, and longer contracts are absolutely on their agenda.

Click here to see President Joan Jessome speak to the media about this government’s undemocratic decision to legislate union representation.

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