'The attitude of the employer has to change in the next set of conciliation meetings or they could be facing possible disruptions.'
Halifax (15 June 2010) – Museum workers at Sherbrooke Village in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike if needed to win a fair first contract.
The employees are members of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE).
Negotiations for a first contract for these workers began in July 2009, breaking off in February and going to conciliation in May.
“This has been a very slow bargaining process with the Sherbrooke Restoration Commission,” says Joan Jessome, NSGEU president.
“The employer said they wanted a quick round of bargaining when we started but it has been anything but quick since then."
The commission receives most of its funding from the Nova Scotia government.
"However, it does not seem willing to try to obtain adequate funding to provide the same wages and benefits that other seasonal employees who work with the provincial government in other museums have already obtained," Jessome says.
"If other museum workers can obtain fair and decent benefits, why can’t our members who help operate such an important historic and economic facility in Guysborough County?"
Jessome says NSGEU is hoping the strike vote sends "a strong message to the employer that our members are serious" about negotiating major improvements to their working conditions.
"The attitude of the employer has to change in the next set of conciliation meetings or they could be facing possible disruptions in the operation of the village during the height of tourism season,” she adds.
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