Unifor is calling for a strong strike vote mandate among health care members in Nova Scotia to send a message to both the employers and the McNeil government.
“This government has interfered with fair collective bargaining from day one through its multitude of laws which have strengthened the hand of the employers by imposing wage freezes and concessions,” said Lana Payne, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director.
The first real movement that the Council of Health Care Unions, which includes union representation from Unifor, the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union (NSGEU), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), and the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union (NSNU),has seen since the bargaining process began was when a province wide strike vote was announced said Payne. The Council of Unions have been in bargaining for nearly two years with the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the IWK Children’s hospital.
To discuss the status of negotiations, membership meetings along with a strike vote will be conducted with all eligible members of Local 4600 between April 24-29. CLICK FOR FULL LIST.
The employers have slowed the pace of bargaining significantly over the last two months and the unions believe there is no choice but to seek a strike mandate from members.
“It is extremely important members attend these town hall sessions to cast their ballot in support of their bargaining committee,” said Susan Gill, Unifor National Representative.
In addition to seeking a strike mandate the Council of Unions is also working to negotiated an Essential Services Agreement (ESA) with the employers as required by McNeil’s Bill 37 prior to job action occurring. The unions asked the Labour Board to determine the number of essential service positions after negotiations reached an impasse with the employers. The process for reaching an ESA has been stalled by the employer which continues to drag its feet.
Unifor and the other unions believe a strong strike vote is the only way to conclude a fair collective agreement and to push back on concessions being demanded by the employer.