N.S. health care admin workers demand fair wages

Main Image
A group of Unifor members wearing red and holding flags stand outside a hospital in Cape Breton.

Hundreds of health care workers wore red shirts and took their lunch break on Monday, Sept. 25 to speak out against unjust treatment of the administrative professionals bargaining unit in Nova Scotia’s acute health care system.

The unit, comprising more than 5,000 professionals working for Nova Scotia Health and the IWK Health Authorities, has been without a contract for nearly three years and has only been offered marginal wage increases that amount to a pay cut.

After announcing the action last week, employers and the conciliator called the unions back to the table for Wednesday, October 11 but the unions continued with the plan to raise awareness of these workers’ concerns.

“It’s important that employers understand how these workers are feeling right now – neglected by their employers and under-valued by government,” said Susan Gill, Unifor National Representative. “It’s wrong to assume that a 3% wage increase on a doctor’s salary, for example, is the same as 3% on an administrative professional’s salary. It’s simply not. We need to see an appropriate increase for these workers, without whom health care would simply not function.”

Members of the three unions in this bargaining unit, CUPE Nova Scotia, NSGEU and Unifor, demonstrated outside 11 different hospitals across the province:

  • Halifax, Victoria General Hospital
  • Dartmouth, Dartmouth General Hospital
  • Cape Breton, Cape Breton Regional Hospital
  • Truro, Colchester East Hants Health Centre
  • Windsor, Hants Community Hospital
  • Kentville, Valley Regional Hospital
  • Bridgewater, South Shore Regional Hospital
  • Yarmouth, Yarmouth Regional Hospital
  • Antigonish, St. Martha’s Regional Hospital
  • New Glasgow, Aberdeen Hospital
  • Amherst, Cumberland Colchester Hospital

The workers are represented by the Nova Scotia Council of Unions, a result of the previous government’s Bill 1, that legislated health care workers bargain together in one of four units: Nurses, Health Care, Support Services, and Administrative Professionals.

The Administrative Professionals bargaining unit is led by CUPE Nova Scotia, supported by NSGEU and Unifor.

See photos of the rallies on the Unifor Facebook page.