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