Home support workers are trying to negotiate fair wages that reflect the level of care they provide in the community, on par with hospital workers.
Halifax (13 Feb. 2014) — Members of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) who work as home support staff in many areas across the province have rejected their employer's final offers and are preparing to strike.
Workers employed by the VON in Kings/Annapolis Counties, Tri-County-Shelburne County, Colchester & East Hants Counties and Pictou County have all overwhelmingly voted against the offer. The strike date is set 14 days after the conciliation officer files a report. There are over 240 members in these bargaining units.
NSGEU/NUPGE members employed by Cape Breton Homemakers voted to strike on February 12. They will now head to conciliation talks with the employer to try to reach an agreement. There are 130 workers who provide home support services in the Sydney area.
At the Antigonish and Area Home Support, the members voted 100 per cent in favour of striking to back up their bargaining demands as they prepare for conciliation. There are 40 members providing home support services in the area.
NSGEU/NUPGE home support members are preparing to strike vote over wage parity
These workers have been holding strike votes through January and February. The key issue at stake is wage parity.
NSGEU/NUPGE home support workers are being paid less than those who have the same qualifications and do the same work in hospital settings.
“Home support workers play a critical role within our healthcare system. They have the same training and they do the same type of work, but they are working under very different conditions outside of the typical healthcare setting. They certainly deserve the same hourly wage their counterparts receive,” says Joan Jessome, NSGEU President.
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