"We believe that this decision sends a strong message to other employers in Nova Scotia and are hopeful that this employer will finally take staff safety concerns seriously." — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President
Halifax (12 July 2019) — In a message to members of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE), President Jason MacLean shared the progress on an important grievance against the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA).
Health and safety a major concern
"Thanks to the fearless advocacy of one of your fellow members, the NSHA has been ordered by the Nova Scotia Labour Board to hire an independent, third-party expert to conduct a safety assessment at the East Coast Forensic Hospital," said MacLean.
An NSGEU/NUPGE member working as a LPN at the hospital raised safety concerns over a year ago, and subsequently, a fellow member was attacked. In the months that followed, the NSGEU’s Occupational Health & Safety Officer assisted the LPN in formalizing her complaints and navigating the joint occupational health and safety process. After many frustrating attempts to have an independent safety assessment conducted, the NSGEU/NUPGE was forced to escalate this complaint to the Labour Board.
Labour Board orders NS Health Authority to conduct independent safety assessment
After a lengthy and thorough process, the investigating officer has decided that the concerns are valid, and that the employer must hire an independent third-party expert to conduct a safety assessment at the facility.
"We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the investigation process and owe sincere thanks to the member who persisted in raising these concerns," said MacLean. "We believe that this decision sends a strong message to other employers in Nova Scotia and are hopeful that this employer will finally take staff safety concerns seriously."
"Together, we can make a real difference in the workplace," said MacLean.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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