Sectoral negotiations were imposed on unions when the provincial Liberal government established a single provincial health authority. However, the parties tentatively agreed on 22 of the 46 complete articles of the NSHA agreement and 24 of the 46 articles of the IWK agreement. There are some monetary gains in the agreement, especially for overtime provisions and stand up and call back. All monetary gains from this new collective agreement will come into effect from the award date (August 8, 2018), except for those due to come into effect on a specified date. For example, some salary increases – which have already been agreed in the conciliation/arbitration vote – are retroactive to 2015 and will soon be visible. Unifor and the other unions believe that a strong strike vote is the only way to reach a fair collective agreement and to roll back the concessions demanded by the employer. Negotiations on a new collective agreement and essential service plans, which are now legislated, have been frustrating at best. It is time for us to send a strong signal to employers and the government that we expect them to take collective bargaining and council proposals seriously, and to work with the Council of Trade Unions to reach a bargaining agreement. The joint union bargaining committee, made up of members of four different unions, including Unifor, NSGEU, CUPE and NSNU, is frustrated by the slow pace of talks for acute workers after spending another seven days at the table with a conciliator.
Discussions began in October 2016. READ MORE: Doctors on TV: A small Hospital on the East Coast is attempting video screen medical care Although the government adopted a pay model for medical staff when Bill 148 was adopted, the negotiating team was busy dealing with many articles and outstanding issues. “This gives us a way forward because it means that after three very long years, we will have collective agreements for all unionized acute care workers in Nova Scotia by the end of 2018,” said Linda McNeil, Director of Unifor Atlantic, who represents the union on the Executive Board. The conciliation/arbitration agreement, available on Unifor`s website, was ratified with 92 per cent of the four bargaining units in the four unions. It offers salary increases, retroactive pay until 2014, protection of your current sickness and pension benefits and the possibility of an advance payment of the death benefit. Conciliation will begin on November 9 with the Nova Scotia Health Council, which is seeking a fair collective agreement for the hundreds of workers employed by the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the IWK. The Board is made up of members of the negotiating committee of Unifor, NSGEU, CUPE and NSNU. A collective agreement is a written law contract covering workers grouped into a bargaining unit. The contract is concluded through collective bargaining between the union and the employer.