Education Opportunities

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                           Education Guidelines

  • Along with the Bylaws section 17 Education, the following guidelines will be enforced to minimize costs and to best serve the needs of the membership.
  • All Local 8920 members are eligible to attend CUPE workshops in the Dartmouth/Halifax geographical location.
  • Local 8920 members who reside within 250 kms of a geographical location other than Dartmouth/Halifax where a CUPE workshop is being held are eligible to attend.
  • The Executive Board in consultation with the Education Coordinator can make the determination of a need and/or repeat for specific workshops for 8920 members.
  • The Education Coordinator shall arrange this in as convenient location as possible.
  • The registration form located on the CUPE 8920 website is the only accepted way of registering for attendance and having expenses covered.
  • Acceptance will be based on past education and needs of the local The Steward Learning Series counts as 1 of the 5 per year, however to attend you must need at least 2 of the 3 modules offered to attend.
  • The Weeklong School counts as two of the 5 per year. Special consideration will be given to immediate educational needs to carry out your role in the local.

HIGGINS INSURANCE

We love and value our Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 8920 members because they work hard to protect labor rights and keep rural Nova Scotia hospitals running.
We appreciate them so much, in fact, that we recently decided to hold a contest specifically for CUPE 8920 members.

Union members simply entered their policy information along with their renewal date which gave them the chance to win 1 of 8 $100 gift cards to their local grocery store.

CUPE 8920 Winners

Here are the 8 lucky winners of our latest contest.

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you, 8920, for all your hard work. Make sure to stay tuned for new contests from Higgins Insurance.

Member update on health care bargaining

Member update on health care bargaining

Member update on health care bargaining

 

November 28, 2017

The Nova Scotia Council of Health Care Unions, NSHA and IWK have completed three days of conciliation and plan to meet again in January for another five days. The last three days provided good discussion and some important progress towards a new collective agreement. However, a lot of work remains.

The parties have held 27 bargaining dates in total now, as they work to conclude a very complex set of negotiations that require bringing together collective agreements from all four unions (CUPE, NSGEU, Unifor and NSNU) in the acute care and community care sectors. This was made necessary when the provincial Liberal government created a single provincial health authority.

Despite the progress, a number of very significant items remain outstanding including job posting, job security, sick leave, group benefits, retiree benefits, vacation scheduling, leaves, overtime, hours of work and more. This remains a long and challenging process but the Council of Health Care Unions is working well together to make sure progress continues, on your behalf.

The task was made much more difficult when the provincial Liberal government enacted legislation freezing the retirement allowance for members an imposing wage restraint including two years of zero per cent increases.

In the meantime, the Council of Health Care Unions continues to work toward completing an essential services agreement with the IWK and NSHA. This agreement is being negotiated for the first time and was required by another Liberal government piece of legislation. The legislation requires a high number of people to remain at work in the event of a strike, but leaves it to the parties to determine the exact numbers.

The essential services agreement covers all 6,500 health care bargaining unit members across the province, making it a very complex task. The Liberal legislation prohibits the health care unions from conducting a strike until an essential services agreement is reached. This has limited the Council’s leverage at the bargaining table, as it attempts to negotiate new collective agreements. Once the essential services negotiations are complete, in the coming months, the Council expects to make more progress in bargaining new collective agreements.

The employers’ essential services negotiators walked away from the table in the summer and have refused to come back. The Council expects to have an essential services plan completed before the end of the year. We believe the employers will return to the table to review the completed plan.

Health Care Update Nov 28 2017 pdf

Health Care Update Nov 28 2017 word doc

 

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Update on Collective Bargaining for members

After 22 days of negotiations, multiple pieces of Liberal legislation attacking workers rights, and Employers who are attempting to take away key benefits from healthcare workers at the bargaining table, talks have finally broken down between the Nova Scotia Council of Healthcare Unions, the NSHA and IWK.

As a result the NSHA and IWK have filed for the help of a conciliator from the Department of Labour and Advanced Education.

When a union and an employer reach an impasse in bargaining, one or both parties can apply to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education to have a conciliator assist in resolving the stalemate. Although a conciliator cannot compel a union and an employer to reach an agreement, they do work with both sides to try to craft a negotiated settlement and to avoid labour disruption

The Nova Scotia Council of Healthcare Unions, made up of bargaining committee members from the NSGEU, CUPE and Unifor, have been attempting to negotiate a collective agreement on your behalf since October 2016 in the face of multiple challenges.

Liberal Government legislation requires that the Council negotiate a single collective agreement to replace the multiple agreements that were in place in each of the former District Health Authorities.

Additional Liberal legislation requiring a detailed and complicated essential services plan before the Council of Unions could engage in job action, has had a severe impact on negotiations. Without a concluded essential services plan, there is no threat of job action and therefore no pressure to cause the Employers to compromise in order to reach agreement on important benefits that will make up your new collective agreement.

The work of the Councils became even more complicated when the Liberal Government enacted even more legislation on August 22, 2017, which froze your wages for two years, provided minimal increases after that, and freezes the retirement allowance retroactive to April 1, 2015.

This legislation was proclaimed by the Provincial Liberal Government without warning and strips 75,000 people of benefits they previously had and relied on. We are currently challenging this legislation in the courts.

With little accomplished at the table, the Employers requested the assistance of a conciliator from the Department of Labour to assist the parties. The Health Council agrees that the appointment of a conciliator is needed.

It is expected conciliation will begin sometime in the next two months and is likely to last for many weeks due to the complexity of the task.

In the meantime, Council of Union negotiators continue to attempt to conclude an essential services agreement in order that the Council may be in a position to begin job action. The Employers’ essential services negotiators walked away from the table in the summer and have so far refused to come to the table to continue discussions. The Council negotiators continue to finalize their essential services proposal in the hopes of re-starting discussions in the coming weeks.

This round of bargaining has been a long and at times frustrating process for health care members. The McNeil Liberals have used their majority government unlike any other provincial government in Canada to invoke multiple pieces of anti-union legislation. Employer negotiators have shown no interest in bargaining in good faith and still refuse to table their proposed changes to sick leave benefits for health care workers. As a result there is nothing more we can accomplish at the table without the aid of a conciliator.

In spite of these barriers your Bargaining Committee has fought hard during these negotiations to protect key benefits that you have negotiated over the past four decades. For example, Employer negotiators continue to make clear they want complete control of your health and dental benefits plans. If the Council of Healthcare Unions were give up this control, the Employers could make unilateral changes to your benefits without the agreement of the unions.

The Health Care Council of Unions bargaining committee is made up of six members from NSGEU, three from CUPE and one from Unifor. The NSNU is also part of the Health Care Council. Health Care Bargaining Council is the lead table in this round of healthcare negotiations.

For more information, please contact:

Bargaining Committee:After 22 days of negotiations, multiple pieces of Liberal legislation attacking workers rights, and Employers who are attempting to take away key benefits from healthcare workers at the bargaining table, talks have finally broken down between the Nova Scotia Council of Healthcare Unions, the NSHA and IWK.

As a result the NSHA and IWK have filed for the help of a conciliator from the Department of Labour and Advanced Education.

When a union and an employer reach an impasse in bargaining, one or both parties can apply to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education to have a conciliator assist in resolving the stalemate. Although a conciliator cannot compel a union and an employer to reach an agreement, they do work with both sides to try to craft a negotiated settlement and to avoid labour disruption

The Nova Scotia Council of Healthcare Unions, made up of bargaining committee members from the NSGEU, CUPE and Unifor, have been attempting to negotiate a collective agreement on your behalf since October 2016 in the face of multiple challenges.

Liberal Government legislation requires that the Council negotiate a single collective agreement to replace the multiple agreements that were in place in each of the former District Health Authorities.

Additional Liberal legislation requiring a detailed and complicated essential services plan before the Council of Unions could engage in job action, has had a severe impact on negotiations. Without a concluded essential services plan, there is no threat of job action and therefore no pressure to cause the Employers to compromise in order to reach agreement on important benefits that will make up your new collective agreement.

The work of the Councils became even more complicated when the Liberal Government enacted even more legislation on August 22, 2017, which froze your wages for two years, provided minimal increases after that, and freezes the retirement allowance retroactive to April 1, 2015.

This legislation was proclaimed by the Provincial Liberal Government without warning and strips 75,000 people of benefits they previously had and relied on. We are currently challenging this legislation in the courts.

With little accomplished at the table, the Employers requested the assistance of a conciliator from the Department of Labour to assist the parties. The Health Council agrees that the appointment of a conciliator is needed.

It is expected conciliation will begin sometime in the next two months and is likely to last for many weeks due to the complexity of the task.

In the meantime, Council of Union negotiators continue to attempt to conclude an essential services agreement in order that the Council may be in a position to begin job action. The Employers’ essential services negotiators walked away from the table in the summer and have so far refused to come to the table to continue discussions. The Council negotiators continue to finalize their essential services proposal in the hopes of re-starting discussions in the coming weeks.

This round of bargaining has been a long and at times frustrating process for health care members. The McNeil Liberals have used their majority government unlike any other provincial government in Canada to invoke multiple pieces of anti-union legislation. Employer negotiators have shown no interest in bargaining in good faith and still refuse to table their proposed changes to sick leave benefits for health care workers. As a result there is nothing more we can accomplish at the table without the aid of a conciliator.

In spite of these barriers your Bargaining Committee has fought hard during these negotiations to protect key benefits that you have negotiated over the past four decades. For example, Employer negotiators continue to make clear they want complete control of your health and dental benefits plans. If the Council of Healthcare Unions were give up this control, the Employers could make unilateral changes to your benefits without the agreement of the unions.

The Health Care Council of Unions bargaining committee is made up of six members from NSGEU, three from CUPE and one from Unifor. The NSNU is also part of the Health Care Council. Health Care Bargaining Council is the lead table in this round of healthcare negotiations.

For more information, please contact:

Bargaining Committee:

BILL 148 MEMBER UPDATE

HOW DID THE MCNEIL LIBERALS PROCLAMATION OF BILL 148 AFFECT US?

1. Regardless of classification or which hospital we work in, we have an imposed 4-year wage restraint of no increase for the first two years (0% and 0%), 1%, 1.5% and 0.5% on the last day of the fourth year. This is not a wage pattern agreed to by any membership of any major Union.

2. The second piece is a significant attack to our retirement allowance which we currently have in all of our Collective Agreements. Our current Collective Agreement grants a retirement allowance of 1 week pay for each year of service with the Employer to a maximum of 26 weeks at the time of retirement. This is a longstanding, fairly negotiated benefit that is now frozen effective April 1, 2015 and when it is eventually paid out, the retirement allowance will be paid based on your wage rate in effect on April 1, 2015. Retirement allowances will be frozen in service for accrual credit as of April 1, 2015. Retirement Allowance in any form has been stripped entirely away from anyone hired on or after April 1, 2015.

CAN STEPHEN MCNEIL AND HIS LIBERALS LEGALLY DO THIS TO US?

Stephen McNeil publicly announced that he and his government were sending this Bill for review on its constitutionality to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. Since then they have backtracked from that statement and have only sent specific sections of the Bill. They are only sending the question of wage restraint.

They are NOT sending the section of the Bill that reaches into our current Collective Agreement and freezes, limits or strips our retirement allowance. Which is the piece that was won in Court already in other provinces. CUPE is currently participating in a multi-union proceeding to seek status before the Court of Appeal on the wage restraint question. If the Unions are granted this status they will put forth evidence to why this is unconstitutional.

NSGEU has served notice of a charter challenge at the Supreme Court for their Civil Service members. CUPE National is now considering the next steps with regards to the legality and a challenge to the Bill.

In the meantime, CUPE Local 8920 will be filing grievances where a member retires and has the retirement allowance adjusted based on Bill 148. Please contact your 8920 Area VP if your retirement allowance payment has been adjusted or you are retiring.

If your MLA is a Liberal, give them a call or drop by for a visit and inquire to how they have made the choice to support this. Ask them why they are afraid to send the entirety of the Bill to the Court. And finally ask them how much payment they will receive in transition allowance for their length of stay in office. Don’t forget to point out that Stephen McNeil is the 3rd highest paid premier in the Country at $202,026 per year with a population shy of one million, behind only Ontario and Alberta with populations of 13.6 and 4.1 million. Not to mention, that last I checked Janet Knox the CEO of the NSHA is being paid $342,000. It’s odd how the McNeil Liberals believe Nova Scotians can afford those things.

Please follow for recent updates as they become available.

In Solidarity,
Bev Strachan,
President CUPE 8920