Speaking at Law Amendments

 Some Key Points to Raise with the Law Amendments Committee on The New Health Authorities Act

Call 902-424-8941

  • My name is __________________. I am a _______________ who has worked for ______ years. I work with ______________.
  •  I do not support any legislation that will result in health care workers being forced into a union without having the opportunity to vote.
  • All four unions worked together and developed a plan to create Bargaining Associations, similar to the associations that exist in B.C. The plan would have addressed government concerns about too many bargaining units and contracts.
  • But this Bill isn’t really about streamlining health care or improving access to needed services. It’s clearly about diminishing the power of unions and health care workers, and setting the stage for wage restraint and diminished benefits.
  • Just like the Harper government, this legislation is being introduced with no public discussion or consultation with the affected workers.
  • Health care workers deserve our appreciation for the work they do, and should definitely have a say in which union will represent them in the future.
  • This legislation will drive health care workers out of Nova Scotia at a time when we’re facing “alarming” shortages.
  • This type of legislation is unconstitutional and is the first of its kind in the country.
  • There is no instance in Canadian history where workers have had their union imposed on them.  Health restructuring in BC allowed members to stay with their union by allowing for bargaining associations similar to what the NS unions have purposed.  And its work well without any problems for the 20 years that it has been instituted.
  • In Saskatchewan, members were allowed to vote in run off votes.  The only caveat was that unions with less than 15% of the new total combined membership were not allowed on the ballot.  The same in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and PEI. In each of these provinces, workers were still given the right to choose.
  • For all these reasons, I strongly urge the McNeil government to withdraw this Bill, and accept the bargaining association proposal. Barring that, they should absolutely allow all health care workers to vote. It’s their democratic right.
  • I appreciate this opportunity to speak to the Law Amendments Committee at this time.

Information on Law Amendments

  1. The Law Amendments Committee is made up of nine Members of the Legislature (MLAs) from each of the political parties represented in the Legislature (including Liberal, PC and NDP members). The current Chairperson is Lena Diab (the Minister of Justice).
  2. Its job is to receive public input on all government Public Bills or legislation during each session of the Legislature after they each have gone through second reading or debate in the Legislature on the principle of that Bill.
  3. Anyone can appear before the Law Amendments Committee to make a presentation on a Bill.  It is not only for lawyers, so-called experts or even just groups and organizations.  Individuals are also welcome to speak to the Committee.
  4. To appear before the Committee, you must call in advance and get on the list of possible presenters.  To do so, you must contact the Legislative Counsel Office at 902-424-8941, and ask to be put on the list of presenters for a specific Bill.
  5. It is possible that you will only receive 1-2 days’ notice, and maybe even less than a day’s notice.   Each presenter is supposed to have 5-10 minutes.  It is usually easier and more effective if you write down or type your key points on 1-2 pages, if you have time to do this.  After you make your comments or read your presentation, the Chairperson will ask if any Committee member will ask has any questions or comments for you.
  6. If you feel that you don’t have much to say to the Committee, remember that you are speaking as a NSGEU member who works in healthcare, and you believe strongly that every healthcare worker across this province deserves the right to choose who represents them.  The government or employers don’t dictate the union.  A short list of key speaking points is found on the back of this sheet for your reference.
  7. If you can’t attend, please send by fax a letter or written comments to the Legislative Counsel Office at (902) 424-0547 (fax) or legc.office@gov.ns.ca (email).
  8.  For more information, please contact Rick Wiseman at 902-430-5546 (cell) or Ian Johnson at 476-4355 (cell).  Please let us know if you have been called to speak before the Committee and for what time.


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