Bargaining Update July 12 2018

Your Health Care Bargaining Committee has spent the past several weeks preparing for a mediation arbitration hearing set for the last week of July with mediator arbitrator William Kaplan.

The Committee has worked closely over the last eight weeks with lawyers at Pink Larkin to continue to narrow the issues and prepare our case. That work has included conducting more bargaining with the Employers at the NSHA and the IWK in order to resolve as many outstanding issues as possible in advance of the hearing.

Those bargaining discussions have led to the successful resolution of several issues. This progress is a direct result of the pressure applied to the Employers by the 93 per cent strike vote mandate, the conclusion of the IWK essential services plan and the acceptance of the mediation/arbitration resolution process. Without those achievements, there is no doubt that the Employers and Government would not have been motivated to make the progress we have. However, even with this progress other key issues remain unresolved and are now likely going to be settled at the mediation arbitration.

Mr. Kaplan has provided dates for mediation/arbitration for all four bargaining units. The Health Care Bargaining Unit mediation/arbitration will run from July 30 to August 3. Mr. Kaplan has indicated he expects to issue a decision concluding the collective agreement shortly after August 3.

The Union and the Employers have agreed that Support Services will go into mediation/arbitration second.  The parties will exchange proposals on August 13 with bargaining scheduled for August 27-30.  Mr. Kaplan has set aside September 18 for the Support Services mediation arbitration. This will give the parties time to negotiate. Kaplan anticipates only one day will be required for the mediation/arbitration because many of the outstanding issues will be resolved at the Health Care table.

The parties have concluded that the Administrative Professional Bargaining Unit mediation/ arbitration will be third. Bargaining will take place on August 21, 22, and 31 with mediation/arbitration to take place on September 19. Again, the mediation/arbitration will only require a day because most outstanding issues will be resolved at the Health Care table.

The parties have agreed to send nursing to the table last. There are a number of unique nursing related issues that will need to be dealt with in bargaining and in mediation/arbitration so Mr. Kaplan set aside November 19-23 for the Nursing Bargaining Unit mediation / arbitration. The Employer and the Council of Unions mutually agreed to these dates.

The mediation/arbitration agreement, which can be found here, was ratified with 92 per cent of all four bargaining units, including members of all four unions voting in favour of the deal. It provides wage increases, retroactive pay back to 2014, protection of your current sick leave and retiree benefits, and the option for early pay out of your retirement allowance.

The Employers recently provided details to all employees on when retroactive wage increases will be paid as well as details on how they intend to facilitate the pay out of the retirement allowance for those who choose that option.

We will continue to communicate updates and information as it becomes available. Please forward any questions via your Area VP, contact information is available on the website at 8920.cupe.ca/about-us/your-executive

 

 

 

Nursing Bargaining Unit Update – June 18, 2018

                                                                           

The Nova Scotia Council of Nursing Unions completed two days of discussion on Friday, June 15. The Council of Nursing met on June 14th and 15th to prepare bargaining proposals.

Over the course of the meetings, the 26-member Council discussed bargaining priorities and collective agreements from all four unions (NSGEU, CUPE, Unifor and NSNU) in acute care. The team will have to review contract language for all nurses, in all categories, to reach consensus on what to preserve, what to expand upon and what compromises may be required.

These inaugural meetings were very productive, but additional dates are required this summer in order to be fully prepared before exchanging proposals with the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) and IWK on September 5th. The Nursing Council will meet again on July 3 – 4th and August 22 – 23rd.

The Nursing Unions have, over the last year or so, been surveying and talking to members about bargaining priorities and the new realities of negotiations in Nova Scotia. The Nursing Council met on previous occasions for preliminary introductions and instruction when the full Nova Scotia Council of Health Care Unions has convened.

The parties have since agreed to send nursing to the table last as there are unique nursing-related issues to be dealt with in bargaining and potentially in mediation – arbitration.

In mid May of this year, health care workers in acute care voted to accept an agreement with the NSHA and IWK that would allow any issues that cannot be resolved at the negotiating table to be sent to the independent, third-party mediator-arbitrator (William Kaplan) for a final and binding award. Mr. Kaplan has set aside November 19-23 for Nursing Bargaining Unit mediation – arbitration. The Employer and the Council of Unions accepted these dates.

The agreement provides wage increases over a six-year term (2014-2020), including retroactive pay, protects key benefits and provides a mediation arbitration process that will conclude all collective agreements for the four bargaining units in Nursing, Health Care, Support Services, and Administrative Professionals by the end of 2018.

Also under this agreement the parties agree to waive all rights to strike and lockout under the Trade Union Act and agree that no Essential Services Agreement applications will be filed with the Nova Scotia Labour Board while Mediation /Arbitration is pending, unless mutually agreed otherwise by the parties.

In the meantime, the Council of Nursing Unions is working hard to ensure that your best interests are represented. The team thanks you for your continued support of its members across the province and commits to keeping you informed as bargaining progresses through regular updates using a variety of communications tools at the disposal and discretion of the Nursing Unions.

Aside from six staff representatives, the Council of Nursing Unions bargaining committee is comprised of 11 members from NSNU, seven NSGEU, one from CUPE and one from Unifor.

Bargaining Update June 1 2018

 

Since health care workers across Nova Scotia voted 93% to ratify the mediation / arbitration agreement with the NSHA and IWK, the unions representing those workers have done much work on the next phase of the bargaining process that will conclude new collective agreements for all four bargaining units (Health Care, Administrative Professionals, Support Services and Nursing) by the end of 2018.

Each bargaining unit will have the opportunity to bargain with the Employers for the priorities that matter most to them. Any remaining issues, where agreement cannot be reached, will be decided by the mediator-arbitrator, William Kaplan.

The Health Care Bargaining Unit has been negotiating for over 18-months. Over the coming weeks The Health Care Bargaining Unit will work with union lawyers at Pink Larkin to prepare for the upcoming mediation / arbitration. That work may involve returning to the bargaining table to try to resolve as many issues as possible. The most contentious issues will go to the mediator-arbitrator. The Health Care Bargaining Committee continues to work to ensure the priorities that matter most to you will go to Mr. Kaplan with the greatest chance for an outcome in your favour.

Mr. Kaplan has now provided dates for mediation / arbitration for all four bargaining units. The Health Care Bargaining Unit mediation / arbitration will run from July 30 to August 4. The Union and the Employers have agreed that Support Services will go into mediation / arbitration second. Mr. Kaplan has set aside September 18 for that mediation arbitration. This will give the parties time to negotiate before that process happens. Kaplan anticipates only one day will be required for the mediation / arbitration because many of the outstanding issues will be resolved at the Health Care table. The parties have concluded that the Administrative Professional Bargaining Unit mediation / arbitration will be third and will take place on September 19. Again, this leaves time for the parties to bargain at the table and the mediation / arbitration will only require a day because most outstanding issues will be resolved at the Health Care table.

The parties have agreed to send nursing to the table last. There are a number of unique nursing related issues that will need to be dealt with in bargaining and in mediation / arbitration so Mr. Kaplan set aside November 19-23 for the Nursing Bargaining Unit mediation / arbitration. The Employer and the Council of Unions mutually agreed to these dates.

The mediation / arbitration agreement does deliver wage increases, retroactive pay back to 2014, protection of your current sick leave and retiree benefits, and the option for early pay out of your retirement allowance.

The Employers have started the preliminary work to create options and a system to facilitate the pay out of the retirement allowance, including looking at the system and options used by the civil service agreement. That work will continue and once a plan is ready it will be communicated to you.

The Employers are also working on a date when the retro pay will be paid out. Once a date has been determined we will communicate it to you.

This has been a long and difficult process and we thank you for your patience and support. The finish line is in sight but there is still a lot of work to do for all four bargaining units. We will continue to communicate updates and information as it becomes available. Please forward any questions via your Area VP, contact information is available on the website at

8920.cupe.ca/about-us/your-executive