Arbitration Update: Monday, February 2, 2015

Today, union and employer representatives began the second round of arbitration hearings, a process which is being overseen by Arbitrator James Dorsey.

The hearings were scheduled to start at 1 p.m., but did not get underway until close to 2 p.m., as legal counsel for all parties needed to meet beforehand. Once the hearing began, lawyers representing the Health Association of Nova Scotia (the employer), Unifor, CUPE and NSGEU made presentations on the employer’s proposed reclassification of a number of jobs into the Support Services unit.

Unifor restated it’s position that the employer and government should not compound the chaotic process of health care restructuring by forcing workers into new bargaining units. CUPE echoed those sentiments, and restated its position that where a position currently exists in more than one bargaining unit (for example, in both Clerical and Health Care), a majoritarian principle should apply, meaning the position would be moved to the unit where the most currently exist. The NSGEU spoke to the flaws that exist in the employer’s rationale for moving positions into the Support Services unit.

The parties were scheduled to reconvene at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday, February 3rd). However, due to expected poor weather, Mr. Dorsey has pushed the arbitration start time back to 11 a.m. At 1 p.m., the government’s lawyer, Alex Cameron, will explain the government’s recently passed regulation, which is intended to amend the Nursing unit portion of the Health Authorities Act.

If you are interested in attending the arbitration hearings, they are open to the public (the location is the Quality Inn near the airport, 60 Sky Blvd.) You can also follow along on our live blog: /bill1arbitrationliveblog/

If you have questions or concerns about the arbitration process, please contact us by calling 902-424-4063 (toll-free 1-877-556-7438) or emailing

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