The Liberal government has introduced and passed legislation that will dictate union representation for all health care workers in Nova Scotia.
This government rejected a fair and reasonable proposal that was developed by all four unions (for more information on the proposed model, click here). Instead, government decided to legislate all health care workers into bargaining units that will be represented by a union of the government/mediator’s choosing.
Under this legislation, the NSGEU will represent none or only one group of health care workers.
The government-appointed mediator will also 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 jeopardize the rights and benefits of almost 24,000 health care workers in this province.
The government has clearly been dishonest with unions and their members over the past few months. It is very apparent that the government was not actually attempting to streamline bargaining: they asked unions to reduce the number of collective agreements, and our proposal did that very effectively. Rather, their true intent was to weaken the union representation of health care workers so it will be easier for them to enact wage restraint and take away your 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.
This legislation 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.
You can also send a message to Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, who is campaigning in his bid to win the next federal election: firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask him to support the democratic right of health care workers in Nova Scotia.
Thank you for your time and support on this very important issue!