MEDIA RELEASE: Unions call on the Houston government to rebuild trust and labour relations by repealing Bill 148
The following joint union statement was issued today by the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour:
On behalf of their joint membership of more than 70,000 public sector workers, unions and the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour (NSFL) are deeply disappointed by the Minister of Labour Relations Allan MacMaster’s refusal to repeal Bill 148.
In comments made to reporters during Cabinet on Thursday, the minister stated his government would not repeal the public service wage suppression legislation, known as Bill 148, which was introduced and enacted by the Liberal government. Furthermore, MacMaster referred to the legislation as “redundant”.
“Bill 148 will never be ‘redundant’. The existence of the bill casts a dark shadow over every bargaining table,” says Nova Scotia Federation of Labour (NSFL) President Danny Cavanagh. “We are sure that the thousands of workers who had their wages suppressed and lost a hard-fought retirement benefit because of this legislation would disagree with the minister’s assessment.”
“Even if this government says they won’t use it, we know that as long as it exists it will remain a threat to free and fair collective bargaining,” says Cavanagh. “If not repealed, Cabinet will have the ability to revive it at will with a simple regulation, without ever going back to the legislature.”
“The premier needs to send a message that the PC government respects workers and unions and wants to rebuild the relationships that were damaged under Stephen McNeil,” states Cavanagh. “Rather than continue to waste valuable public resources, unions and the NSFL are calling on the Houston government to repeal the legislation and sit down to discuss this matter with the unions representing these workers.”
“If the PC government intends to continue the Liberal legacy of breaking the trust of Nova Scotian workers, then they can expect to find themselves back in court.”
Eight unions with members whose lives were impacted by Bill 148 – CUPE, NSGEU, NSNU, SEIU, NSTU, CUPW, IUOE, and Unifor – as well as the NSFL, have been fighting this anti-worker legislation since it was introduced in 2015 and will continue to fight for a fair resolve.
The Nova Scotia Federation of Labour is the provincial voice of the Labour Movement, representing 70,000 members in over 400 union locals.
February 6, 2023
MEDIA RELEASE: QEII Emergency Department Nurses Speak Out
On January 23rd, nurses working in the Halifax Infirmary Emergency Department (ED) wrote a letter to the Premier, Minister of...
January 18, 2023
STATEMENT: Changes to Emergency Departments
This morning, the Minister of Health and Wellness and the CEO for Nova Scotia Health (NSH) announced a number of...
November 9, 2022
MEDIA RELEASE: South Shore School Support Workers Ratify Agreement, End Strike
Today, striking school support workers on the South Shore voted 98 per cent to accept the new tentative agreement being...
November 8, 2022
MEDIA RELEASE: Valley School Support Workers Ratify Agreement, End Strike
Today, striking school support workers in the Valley voted by 92.3 per cent to accept the new tentative agreement being...
November 6, 2022
MEDIA RELEASE: Tentative Agreement Reached for Striking School Support Workers in the Valley
After two long days at the bargaining table with the assistance of a Conciliator on Friday and Sunday, the bargaining...
November 2, 2022
MEDIA RELEASE: Conciliator Calls Parties Back to the Table
The NSGEU and Annapolis Valley Regional Centre for Education (AVRCE) have received an invitation from the Conciliation Officer for Local...
November 2, 2022
MEDIA RELEASE: Education Minister Dodges “Parity” Question in Legislature
Following a week of Education Minister Becky Druhan stating that she “supports parity” for striking education workers, when given the...
November 1, 2022
MEDIA RELEASE: Minister Must Explain her Definition of “Parity”
In an email to striking workers, Minister of Education Becky Druhan’s office has said workers should receive wage parity across...
October 31, 2022
MEDIA RELEASE: AVRCE In Violation of Province’s Guiding Principles of Inclusion
The Provincial government has ordered many parents of students with special needs who attend schools in the Annapolis Valley Regional...