Bargaining Update: Support Services Collective Agreement

After many months of difficult negotiations, your bargaining committee members are pleased to announce that they have concluded a new, province-wide Support Services Collective Agreement.
On November 30, 2018, mediator/arbitrator William Kaplan issued an award that establishes a collective agreement for more than 4,200 employees within the Health Support Bargaining Unit at the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) and the IWK Children’s Hospital. (Please note, in the linked document, Tab 1 applies to employees of the NSHA, while Tab 2 applies to employees of the IWK).
This was a historic round of bargaining that saw all Support Services members across the province from three different unions bargain together at one table (click here to read more about the history behind this round of bargaining).
As a result of the hard work of the committee, your resulting collective agreements will maintain much of our existing language, while achieving many significant improvements. The award comes into effect 60 days from November 30th, except for monetary provisions, which are effective according to the dates outlined in the collective agreement (please note: some changes may take time to be implemented by your employer, but retroactivity will apply).
Your NSGEU bargaining committee members will hold a telephone town hall soon so we can go over some of the key elements of the agreement with the membership.
NSGEU offers its thanks to the NSGEU bargaining committee members who represented the interests of the members so well at the bargaining table. And the Union also thanks you, the members, for your ongoing patience during this very challenging round of negotiations.
Key Highlights of New Support Services Collective Agreement:
  • Article 32 – Enhanced Job Security – Including improved Placement Rights as set out in 32.09(b), Recall Procedures 32.18(d)(f) 15 vs 24 months, Contracting Out 32.24(g) significant improvement.  The Employer must find a placement that pays at least 90% (previously 75%) of the present salary of Employee’s current position.
  • 3.5% Retention Incentive – Preserved for all incumbents in classifications that were transferred to Support from Health Care under the Dorsey arbitration decision, and who previously had access to the retention incentive as part of their predecessor agreement, provided they continue in same classification, or move to another classification as a result of a reorganization or amalgamation of classifications.
  • Acting Pay – 34.13(a) Where an Employee is designated to perform for a temporary period the principal duties of a higher position, she shall receive the rate for that classification. Where the classification rate is on an increment scale, the Employee shall receive an increase in pay that approximates one increment step (based on his/her current scale) increase over his/her current increment rate or the maximum for the position; whichever is less.
  • Shift & Weekend Premiums – A 50 cent increase on shift and weekend premiums, which will be implemented over the term of the new collective agreement:
(a)    Increase of fifteen (15) cents ($0.15) effective the date of this Award;
(b)    Increase of fifteen (15) cents ($0.15) effective August 1, 2019;
(c)     Increase of twenty (20) cents ($0.20) effective October 31, 2020.
  • Protective Clothing/Safety Footwear allowance of $175.00.
  • Preservation of Union-specific MOAs.
  • Power Engineers – shall remain in accordance with the transitional collective agreements as outlined in Appendix 6 – Article 14.01(d).
Significant improvements from the Administrative Professionals’ and Health Care awards are also incorporated into the Support Services award.

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