Nova Scotia Health Support Bargaining Update - July 20, 2022

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A group of healthcare workers in PPE stand socially distanced in the lobby of a healthcare facility.

In our previous update to members, we informed you that on Wednesday May 17, 2022 the Health Support Bargaining Unit (Unifor, NSGEU and CUPE) reached an impasse in bargaining a new collective agreement with Nova Scotia Health and the IWK. As a result, two days of Conciliation were scheduled. This means both the Unions and The Employers are using an outside mediation officer to attempt to finalize bargaining.

The Bargaining Committee met on Monday, July 18 to focus on and finalize the proposals that have the greatest importance to their membership. The following day, July 19, 2022, was our first day of Conciliation with the Employers. 

The first day of Conciliation did not result in a deal. 

There are a small number of outstanding language items that will need to be resolved, but monetary provisions remain largest outstanding issues. 

Your committee is focused on attaining the best possible collective agreement for you. We have heard our members loud and clear that wages are just not enough with the rate of inflation and the rising cost of living. We know there are many in this bargaining unit who need and deserve to make a living wage.  

The committee knows the current wage offer presented by the Employers is just not enough and the Employers and Government need to do better. The Bargaining Committee has presented the Employer with a fair wage package that will benefit the membership and it is critical that Employers respect that position. The committee will not present a package back to our members that we do not feel is respectful or adequate.

We take Premier Houston at his word when he claims he really wants to fix health care. The issues in our health care system are caused by, and magnified by, a lack of qualified workers across nearly every classificiation and specialty. This will continue if wages and benefits are not attractive to workers. Premier Houston must direct his government to pay you a fair and decent wage and offer the respect you all deserve. Your Bargaining Committee will remain persistent with this demand.

The committee does have another date scheduled of Conciliation on July 28, 2022. We remain committed to fighting to get our members the best possible agreement that we can. Please watch your emails, post this notice, and reach out if you have any questions. You will receive an update after our July 28 meeting on what our next steps will be.

The Health Support Bargaining Committee is comprised of over three thousand members represented by Unifor, CUPE and NSGEU from all areas of the Province. They work in classifications such as Maintenance, Power Engineering, Plumbers, Electricians, Laundry, Food Services and Environmental Services. The members of this bargaining unit kept patients and staff fed, and facilities operational, cleaned and sterilized – as always! - so hospitals could remain open through the pandemic to keep everyone safe. You were crucial in helping to stop the spread of Covid in hospitals and other facilities during the worst times of the pandemic. 

You work tirelessly every day to ensure the health and safety of the most vulnerable and sick patients within Nova Scotia hospitals including the IWK Children’s Hospital.  

We know there would be no health care without Health Support.

As always, reach out to any member of your Bargaining Committee with any questions or concerns.

In Solidarity, 
Susan Gill  National Representative  902-562-3857
Doug Bond President Unifor Local 4603  902-549-3113
Ken MacLean Vice Presdient Unifor Local 4603  902-371-5206
Jim Mott Business Agent Local 4606 902-476-0597