Health Care Bargaining Update

The Health Care Bargaining Council, including members of your bargaining committee, has made a formal bargaining complaint today against your employers with the Labour Board.

Bargaining between the Nova Scotia Council of Health Care Unions and the NSHA and IWK has stalled because the Employers are refusing to tell the Unions what they are proposing for key aspects of the new collective agreements.

The Council of Unions bargaining committee is made up of six members from NSGEU, three from CUPE and one from Unifor. That Council has asked repeatedly for the NSHA and IWK to table their full proposals. The Employers have refused.

At issue are three key proposals: sick leave; health and life benefits plans; and pay plan maintenance (the process that evaluates whether people are properly paid for the work they do).

The Council has repeatedly informed the Employers that their refusal to table key proposals leaves the Council at an unfair disadvantage where it is being asked to bargain in the dark and leave critical cornerstone elements of our agreement to be negotiated after issues of key importance to the employer are dealt with. The Employers’ refusal to table those proposals has left bargaining at an impasse as the Council will not continue bargaining until the items are tabled.

In order to end the impasse and resume bargaining on the health care agreement, the Union has filed a complaint with the Labour Board. That complaint asks that the Board order the “Employers to prepare and table forthwith a comprehensive proposal for a collective agreement for the Health Care Bargaining Unit.”


There are two sick leave plans currently in use across the NSHA and IWK. The Council of Unions has proposed using the current Local 42 Short Term Illness plan for most NSHA and IWK employees and it has proposed keeping the existing short term illness plan for Public Health Addictions and Continuing Care employees. Among other things, the Council’s proposed sick plans ensure people who have recurring illnesses or injuries in a short period of time have better sick leave provisions. And it allows people to collect 100 per cent paid sick leave in roughly half the time as the other plan.


There are also three different group health and life plans in operation at the NSHA and IWK. The Council of Unions has proposed keeping the status quo and leaving people in their existing plans. The Employers have said they just want one plan and they want complete control of the plan including the ability to change it at their sole discretion. But the Employers are again refusing to say what that plan would be. These benefits plans cover everything from dental care and drug plans to retiree benefits.


With respect to the Joint Job Evaluation process, the Council has proposed the current Local 42 method, but with changes that will address delays that have stalled important re-evaluations. The Employers have not tabled a proposal, however they have recently said they will soon do so. If so, this issue would be resolved.

For further information on the bargaining process to date, as well as background on the formation of the Health Care bargaining council, please visit our website.

The Council decided to have the Health Care bargaining unit lead bargaining, followed by tables for the Administrative Professionals, Support Services and Nursing bargaining units at later dates.

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

Cindy Smith-MacDonald (Local 100),

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