Arbitrator James Dorsey today issued an order officially naming NSGEU Local 23 the bargaining agent for all employees in the new clerical bargaining unit.
This morning, the NSGEU completed the necessary documentation to formalize the transfer of jurisdiction process, as outlined in Mr. Dorsey’s decision of February 19th.
He states: “Therefore, I hereby order: ‘Effective April 1, 2015 Nova Scotia Government and General Employees’ Union, Local 23 shall be the exclusive bargaining agent for the employees in the clerical bargaining unit of the provincial health authority and the employees in the clerical bargaining unit of IWK Health Centre.’”
In his February 19th decision, Mr. Dorsey already awarded the Health Care unit to the NSGEU. This means that, effective April 1, 2015, the NSGEU and NSGEU Local 23 will become the bargaining agents for the Health Care and Clerical bargaining units, respectively.
Mr. Dorsey has clearly rendered his decision on the Health Care and Clerical units. Government has attempted to interfere with its own legislation and the administration of justice.
“This respected arbitrator has had the courage to stand up in the face of a government that is bound and determined to undermine the constitutional rights of workers,” says NSGEU President Joan Jessome.
“We hope that, with this ruling today, government will finally focus their energies and efforts on improving health care, rather than meddling in labour representation.”
The Liberal government has indicated it plans to pass legislation that would make it impossible for NSGEU Local 23 to represent Clerical workers at the PHA and the IWK, despite the fact that the NSGEU holds the vast majority of clerical workers in the province. The NSGEU is prepared to take such unconstitutional legislation to the courts immediately.
Mr. Dorsey has urged all of the unions to work together to achieve a similar basis for establishing successor unions to claim majority representation by choice of the employees in the remaining bargaining units. The NSGEU remains prepared to have those discussions.
The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union represents over 30,000 women and men who provide quality public services Nova Scotian’s count on every day.
For more information, please contact:
Holly Fraughton, NSGEU Communications Officer
Below is a copy of the email sent from James Dorsey to all parties:
Subject: Re: Health Authorities Act Mediation-Arbitration – Clerical Units
I received this confirmation the process of local union merger and membership transfer to Nova Scotia Government and General Employees’ Union, Local 23 has been completed.
I have reviewed Mr. Fuller’s affidavit and accompanying exhibits following up on the materials previously filed on which I relied in making my February 19th decision with respect to Local 23 becoming the exclusive bargaining agent for the employees in the two clerical bargaining units.
I am satisfied Local 23 is a “union” eligible to be a bargaining agent and represents a majority of employees in the clerical bargaining unit of the provincial health authority and a majority of employees in the clerical bargaining unit of IWK Health Centre.
I also conclude Local 23 is a bargaining agent that satisfies the criteria in section 90(2). Although not explicitly stated, I made the same conclusion under section 90(2) with respect to the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees’ Union when determining it shall, effective April 1, 2015, be the bargaining agent to represent the employees in the two health care bargaining units employed by the two health authority employers.
It is gratifying this additional closing piece in this complex labour relations landscape restructuring has been completed. I urge the unions to achieve a similar basis for a successor union to claim majority representation by choice of the employees in the remaining four bargaining units.
I hereby determine a majority of employees in each clerical bargaining unit to be employed at April 1st by the provincial health authority and employed by IWK Health Centre are members of Nova Scotia Government and General Employees’ Union, Local 23, which at April 1, 2015 will be the successor bargaining agent representing the employees in the clerical bargaining unit of each of the two health authority employers.
Therefore, I hereby order: “Effective April 1, 2015 Nova Scotia Government and General Employees’ Union, Local 23 shall be the exclusive bargaining agent for the employees in the clerical bargaining unit of the provincial health authority and the employees in the clerical bargaining unit of IWK Health Centre.”
When I return to my office next week, I will formalize this order in a manner similar to the order in Schedule 8 to my February 19th decision. I will then forward a signed and certified true copy dated today for filing in accordance with section 95 of the Health Authorities Act. I will use the procedure identified by Mr. Plaxton and ask he send me the fax number and any procedural requirements of the prothonotary or Court file number to which the order is to be added.
As promised previously, as soon as I receive a Nova Scotia Supreme Court registered copy of my orders, I will forward copies to you unless you send to me and circulate to counsel copies of registered orders obtained from the Court.
As has been my practice, I am copying this decision to Mr. King and Ms Jones-Gordon so they can brief their Ministers. Unlike the past decisions, I do not know of any agreed communication embargo.
It continues to be a pleasure working with you and your clients. I am travelling today and will continue to be in the mountains with intermittent email access until next week. We could use some Nova Scotia snow!