After many months of painful negotiations with Capital Health and interference by the Liberal government, NSGEU leadership decided to take the employer’s final offer forward to Registered Nurses once again for a vote.
“In the spring, the employer refused to negotiate in good faith, choosing to hide behind the government and the Essential Services legislation they introduced, which severely diminished nurses’ right to strike,” says NSGEU President Joan Jessome.
“We spent months negotiating essential service staffing levels, only to have the government drop another bomb on these workers: Bill 1.”
This latest legislation halted the conciliation process the nurses were in the midst of, and further prevented them from taking any job action, or concluding a collective agreement, until April 2015.
“We didn’t feel it was fair or acceptable to ask nurses to wait until next spring to resolve this round of negotiations, especially since their contract is set to expire at the end of this month,” says Jessome.
“Unlike in the rest of the province, the democratic process is still alive and well here at the NSGEU.”
Members of Local 97 voted in favour of accepting the employer’s final offer, which does absolutely nothing to address frontline staff concerns about staffing and patient safety, but does ensure they will have a collective agreement in place while the catastrophic Bill 1 proceeds to implementation.
Out of 2,562 eligible voters, 1,137 nurses voted with 1,095 voting in favour.