Local 97 – Nurses Essential Service Committee Update

Your Essential Service Committee met with your employer May 28, 2014 and plans to meet again June 5, 6 and 18.

Capital Health has now provided the NSGEU with a proposed essential services staffing plan in the event of a strike. That is, it has indicated how many nurses it wants to keep in each work area should there be a strike. Your union committee started its analysis of this proposed plan, and has started visiting and calling worksites within CDHA to find out what actual staffing levels are like in each area, and how the employer’s proposed staffing levels compare. Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts on safe and appropriate staffing levels with them.

The meetings on June 5, 6 and 18 will see Capital Health bring in directors to speak about how they determined essential service levels in each work area. During these meetings the NSGEU committee will raise any questions it may have as a result of its visits and calls to worksites. We will update you on the progress when those meetings are complete. Your union committee and employer must also agree to a memorandum of understanding to go along with the staffing level. That memorandum will deal with issues that arise as a result of a strike such as ongoing maintenance of benefits for employees, how to manage on-call lists and how to resolve any disputes that arise over staffing levels after a strike has started.

Should the parties be unable to conclude a staffing agreement either the NSGEU or Capital Health may appeal to the Labour Board to resolve all outstanding differences. Bill 37 gives the Board 30 days to resolve those differences.

The goal of your union in these essential service negotiations is to try and ensure you have an effective right to strike. This will create pressure on Capital Health and the government to negotiate a fair and reasonable collective agreement addressing the outstanding issues that remain on the bargaining table.

Your Essential Service Committee includes:

  •        Dave Roberts (Labour Lawyer at Pink-Larkin)
  •        Shawn Fuller (Director of Negotiations at NSGEU)
  •        Linda Power (Lead Negotiator for the Nurses Bargaining Unit at NSGEU)
  •        Robert Chisholm, RN
  •        Keri Webster-McIsaac, RN
  •        Patricia MacDonald, RN
  •        Karen Ferguson, RN
  •        Joan Bourque, RN

If you have any questions or concerns about strike pay, please contact the NSGEU by calling 424-4063 (toll-free 1-877-556-7438) or emailing inquiry@nsgeu.ca.

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