Arbitration hearings into a bill to reduce the number of healthcare union in Nova Scotia resumed recently with Unifor’s lawyer, Barry Wadsworth, arguing that any decision the arbitrator makes must comply with the workers’ rights under Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
James Dorsey, the appointed arbitrator, will have until January 19, 2015 to decide the future of collective bargaining for health care workers in the province.
Wadsworth emphasized the impact the government’s plan would have on health care workers and quality of care.
He specifically noted that while Bill 1 states it was designed to achieve “stable and harmonious labour relations”, it would actually cause massive upheaval and disharmony between workers, the unions that would be appointed to represent them and even the health care managers they have been working with for decades to solve labour problems.
“Workers must trust their bargaining agent, and this trust takes time – sometimes years – to build,” said Wadsworth. “Our proposal for bargaining associations will meet all of the government’s objectives and provide the labour peace the government says it wants. It is unreasonable to think that a shuffling of members between unions will end harmoniously.”