Update on Bill 1: Mediation & Legal Challenges

NSGEU President Joan Jessome, Directors of Negotiations & Servicing, Shawn Fuller and Robin MacLean, and legal counsel, Drew Plaxton, recently met with James Dorsey, the mediator/arbitrator who has been selected to help us decipher Bill 1.

The first meeting took place on Friday, October 17th at the Department of Labour offices. That meeting included four people from each of the unions representing health care workers (NSGEU, NSNU, Unifor and CUPE), as well as seven representatives from the employer. All unions were asked to prepare thousands of pages of documentation to leave with Mr. Dorsey for review.

This first meeting was mainly introductory. The parties discussed public communications, the complexity of the issues that must be resolved, as well as possible court challenges. The mediation component of the process must be completed by November 17th, with an arbitration decision (if required) issued by January 1st.

Mr. Dorsey then met with each group separately. The NSGEU’s meeting took place on Saturday afternoon. It is clear that Mr. Dorsey is as capable as we had hoped when the unions agreed to put his name forward to government as the mediator/arbitrator.

All parties will meet again to begin the mediation process on Thursday, November 6th. Those meetings will run through to November 13th. We will keep you up to date as we proceed.

If you would like to continue to show this government how you feel about their disrespect for the rights and freedoms of health care workers, please make sure you join one of our upcoming rallies (please check your email regularly for rally notices!)

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