Nova Scotia Labour Board will finalize IWK Essential Services Plan

The Nova Scotia Council of Health Care Unions today requested that the Nova Scotia Labour Board settle the outstanding issues and finalize an Essential Services plan for the IWK. The Labour Board has 30 days to hear submissions from both the Employer and the Council of Unions and reach a conclusion on the remaining issues.

At the end of this process the IWK will have an Essential Services plan.

The Council of Unions, Health Care Bargaining Unit, has worked hard to reach an Essential Services plan that meets the needs of its members as well as ensures the health and safety of patients.

The Council of Unions believes that the remaining issues can not be resolved through negotiations with the Employer and is using the process provided under the Essential Health and Community Services Act to empower the Labour Board to finalize the plan.

The application to the Labour Board is the next logical step and aligns with the Council of Union’s announcement that a strike vote for all 6,500 members of its Health Care Bargaining Unit across Nova Scotia. This is to send a message to the Employers and government to take collective bargaining and the Council’s proposals seriously and to work with the Council of Unions to get a deal done.

The primary goal of the both the strike vote and sending the essential services plan to the Labour Board is to create enough pressure that the Employers and the government will engage in meaningful negotiations and complete a new collective agreement.

NSHA Essential Services

The Council of Unions is nearing completion of an Essential Service plan for the NSHA. We will continue to keep members updated on the progress of the NSHA plan.

Strike Vote Update

All NSGEU members in the Health Care Bargaining Unit will soon be receiving an email as well as a mail out from the NSGEU with more information on the upcoming province-wide health care strike vote. This will include in person and telephone town hall dates, meeting locations and the voting procedure. It is important that the NSGEU has your up to date contact information including email and mailing address. If you are unsure that the NSGEU does not have your updated information please contact us at 902-424-4063.

The strike vote is an important next step in the bargaining process to get health care members a new collective agreement. After more than a year of bargaining the Employers have slowed the pace of bargaining significantly over the last two months. And the NSHA and IWK continue to table proposals that would negatively impact members and their families. For example, the Employer wants the ability to move employees to any region of the province at their discretion. This would create instability and uncertainty for thousands of families around the province. This is not the kind of proposal that the NSGEU will accept.

After more than a year of bargaining, the Employers recently tabled their sick leave proposal. The Employers proposed placing all members of the bargaining unit into an Accumulated Sick Leave plan. This would mean taking the Short Term Illness sick leave plan away from those NSGEU members who currently have it. The Council of Unions has proposed moving all bargaining unit members into the Short Term Illness plan. Other changes include the fact the Employers are proposing taking control of your health and dental benefits plans so they can unilaterally make changes to your benefits. The Council has proposed that benefits plans cannot be altered without the approval of the Unions.

The Council of Unions, NSHA and IWK have further conciliation dates set for April 10th, 11th, 12th and again on May 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

For more information contact a member of the Health Care Bargaining Committee:

Donna Kline

Allan Lapierre

Peter Perry

Cindy Smith-MacDonald

Adam Burgess

Uta Berthold-Brush

Shawn Fuller, Chief Negotiator

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