The Health Support Council of Unions, which consists of members from Unifor, CUPE and NSGEU representing facilities and members from across the Province in the Support Services Bargaining Units, has just concluded two further days of bargaining with your Employers – Nova Scotia Health and IWK – on March 7th and 8th.
To date, the Committee has met with employer representatives a total of eight days (December 15th, 16th, 2021; January 6th, 7th, 25th, 26th and March 7th and 8th, 2022). While we have reached some agreement on language provisions, progress has been extremely slow, and we have not yet discussed any of the important monetary items.
There has been no discussion of vital monetary provisions (ie. an increase in stand by and call back rates; increase in uniform and boot allowance; call back compensation; and vacation carry over). Wages have not yet been tabled or discussed as were previously agreed to at the Health Care table. At this late stage of bargaining, it is extremely concerning that your employers remain unwilling to discuss these crucial issues.
We have asked the Employer for two additional bargaining dates. The committee is in the process of developing a comprehensive wage package to present to the employer by the end of this week in an attempt to expedite the bargaining process. We are looking at the possibility of filing for Conciliation if the employer refuses to commit to additional bargaining dates.
We appreciate the support from the members as we navigate this round of bargaining. In the coming weeks, the committee may be seeking your support for strike action if we are unable to finalize a respectful collective agreement. A strike is always a last resort, but we may need to send a strong message to your employer that you deserve a fair contract. Support Services worked extremely hard during the pandemic keeping facilities clean and operational, kept patients fed and comfortable and without the work that this bargaining unit provided – facilities around Nova Scotia would have been forced to close. Your committee is mindful of all of this as they attempt to bargain a fair collective agreement on your behalf.
We will keep you updated if additional dates are set. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Area VP.