“Last night’s vote is a clear sign these employees feel like they’re being treated with disrespect,” says NSGEU President Joan Jessome.
Halifax (14 Nov. 2011) - The members of the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) who work for the Cobequid Housing Authority have voted in favour of strike, and could be off the job by the end of November unless the employer improves its offer at the table.
The 36 members help the province provide safe and affordable housing to more than 1,000 people in Cumberland and Colchester counties. They also help provide rural and native housing services to hundreds more people across the province.
The members have been in bargaining for months, negotiating with representatives of the Nova Scotia Department of Community Service. The provincial negotiators have been offering a two-year agreement that features one per cent increases for 2010 and 2011, and very little else.
“Last night’s vote is a clear sign these employees feel like they’re being treated with disrespect,” says NSGEU President Joan Jessome. “Other employees in the public service who’ve been offered one per cent increases have also been offered other improvements. This group is being offered nothing more that’s meaningful, and it’s not appropriate.”
The two sides have already worked with a conciliator, who will now be asked to file a report indicating bargaining has reached an impasse. When that report is filed, a 14-day “cooling-off period” will begin. Negotiations could resume during that period; if they don’t or if they’re unsuccessful, job action could begin by the fourth week in November.
The NSGEU/NUPGE members are employed as a variety of clerks (income review, property, accounts payable) and receptionists, and as electricians, plumbers, and carpenters in the maintenance departments.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 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