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Bargaining association is the smart solution says Unifor

HALIFAX, Sept. 29, 2014 /CNW/ - Unifor is calling on Premier McNeil to accept the health care unions' proposal for a bargaining association.

"The health care unions have a smart proposal that will avoid the chaos and instability that will result with the government's proposed legislation," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

Last week the Liberal government announced it was rejecting a carefully considered and reasonable proposal to create a single bargaining association developed by the four unions representing the province's health care workers. Today, the government will introduce legislation that will force all health care workers into bargaining units that will be represented by a union of a government appointed mediator's choosing.

"The McNeil government's proposed legislation undermines workers' rights and is a blatant attack intended to weaken the labour movement in Nova Scotia," said Jerry Dias Unifor National President.

"For months, Unifor, CUPE, NSGEU and NSNU have been working together to find a way to address the government's concerns. We have found a solution that not only addresses the concerns, but also protects the rights our members," said Lana Payne Unifor Atlantic Regional Director.

Under the union proposal for a bargaining association the four unions would bargain together, but would continue to represent their own members. 

"Our proposal will best protect health care workers - and the health care system," said Payne, who also suspects the government's proposed legislation is part of a larger plan to restructure the province's health care system and introduce more privatization.

"This is the fourth piece of legislation from the McNeil government that has undermined workers' rights and the ability of unions to represent workers," stressed Payne. "Unifor will fight with everything we've got to protect the workers in this province."

Unifor National President Jerry Dias is asking to meet with Premier McNeil immediately.

Unifor will be joining CUPE, NSGEU and NSNU at a rally at the provincial legislature at 4 pm today to protest the attack on workers' rights in Nova Scotia.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.