“Time and time again where this has been proposed, our members have demonstrated how cost-savings can be achieved by allowing them to continue to provide a specific service. Contracting-out is a false solution that will undermine public health care.” - Joan Jessome, NSGEU president.
Halifax (27 July 2011) - The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) is raising its concerns regarding the request for proposals (RFP) to review administrative and support services at the nine District Health Authorities (DHA) and the IWK Health Centre. The RFP was issued by the DHAs, the IWK and the Department of Health and Wellness.
According to NSGEU President Joan Jessome, “We have no problem in general with any initiative to improve the quality and effectiveness of our members’ services. But we do have serious misgivings if any review of these services includes the possibility of contracting-out and privatization."
Jessome noted that, “Time and time again where this has been proposed, our members have demonstrated how cost-savings can be achieved by allowing them to continue to provide a specific service. This has included food services, laundry, IT, printing and housekeeping services. Contracting-out is a false solution that will undermine public health care.”
“We are troubled with the apparent priority in the RFP with maximizing cost-reductions. Whatever happened to improving quality of care or to strengthening public health care? There are also no assurances offered to protect existing staff positions. We want to ensure that existing collective agreements are respected.”
Jessome concluded, “We have to question the value of bringing in yet another outside consultant. Why can’t the DHAs and the IWK work with health care unions to consider where improvements and cost-savings can be achieved?"
The NSGEU/NUPGE represents approximately 12,000 health care workers in the nine District Health Authorities and the IWK including health care providers, maintenance and engineering staff and administrative professionals.
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