NSGEU calls for equitable approach to collective bargaining

“At a time when Premier Stephen McNeil insists we cannot afford cost of living increases for public sector workers we all rely on every day — nurses; education and health care workers; civil servants — it is shocking he is willing to pay one man almost half a million dollars for one round of contract negotiations." — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President

Halifax (24 May 2016) — The provincial government announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with Doctors Nova Scotia, the group negotiating on behalf of physicians in this province. The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) is pleased that while one group of workers in the province seems to have finally made some progress at the bargaining table, it is concerned that one group of workers is receiving preferential treatment.

“It certainly seems as though this government is taking a different approach to bargaining with doctors than with other public sector workers,” notes NSGEU President Jason MacLean.

Are doctors in Nova Scotia receiving preferential treatment?

The government is not releasing details of the doctors’ tentative agreement until members have had an opportunity to vote on it. Yet, with other groups of public sector workers, such as the civil servants, education and health care workers, the government actually released their full proposals to the public via their website.

“Why is government respecting Doctors Nova Scotia’s right to bring the offer to their members first, but not doing the same for the NSGEU?” asks MacLean.

Cupboard is bare, except when hiring high-priced lawyers for negotiations with doctors

It has also been reported in the media that government officials made the decision to bypass the standard procurement process and appoint a lawyer of their choosing to lead negotiations with the doctors, at an exorbitant cost to taxpayers: up to $440,000.

“At a time when Premier Stephen McNeil insists we cannot afford cost of living increases for public sector workers we all rely on every day — nurses; education and health care workers; civil servants — it is shocking he is willing to pay one man almost half a million dollars for one round of contract negotiations,” said MacLean.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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