“The McNeil government is legislating away the rights of 24,000 health care workers,” says NSGEU President Joan Jessome.
Halifax (19 Nov. 2014) — The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) is disappointed to report that the mediation process outlined under Bill 1, the Health Authorities Act, has failed.
The concensus on forming a bargaining association fell apart when NSNU asked for arbitration
The NSGEU/NUPGE, Unifor and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) were able to work together effectively and were united in their efforts to achieve a form of bargaining association, maintaining the position that all unions should continue to represent their respective members.
But the mediation process ended when the Nova Scotia Nurses Union (NSNU) made it clear that they were no longer supportive of the bargaining association model. Instead, they suggested that the issue of which union would represent nurses be referred to arbitration, which would mean registered nurses and licensed practical nurses from all three other unions would be assigned to the NSNU, because that is the way the legislation is written.
NSGEU/NUPGE has filed a constitutional challenge against the Health Authorities Act with the appointed mediator/arbitrator James Dorsey
“The McNeil government is legislating away the rights of 24,000 health care workers,” says NSGEU President Joan Jessome. “Bill 1 infringes on the constitutional rights of these workers, imposing not only union representation, but a collective agreement, and will only make health shortages worse.”
The NSGEU/NUPGE has filed a constitutional challenge with mediator/arbitrator James Dorsey over the parts of the Health Authorities Act which allows an arbitrator to decide which union will represent the affected workers and which collective agreement by which they will be covered. NSGEU/NUPGE anticipates Mr. Dorsey will decide by November 21 whether he will hear this challenge. The arbitration hearing is scheduled to begin on December 9. The union has requested that the arbitration process be held in public, and has asked that members and the media be able to attend.
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