Unifor is calling for a strong strike mandate among members of the health sector in Nova Scotia to send a message to both employers and the McNeil government. After nearly 18 months of painful progress at the negotiating table, the unions are moving forward with a process that will conclude collective agreements for the four bargaining units by the end of the year. The agreement is a voluntary agreement for mediation/conciliation of outstanding issues after collective bargaining for each of the bargaining units. Even if this proposal is approved, negotiations will continue for some time. The appointed mediator will attempt to support the parties to an agreement through mediation, but will make a binding decision on the issues that will not be resolved. The parties agreed to use William Kaplan as arbitrator. Kaplan is the mediator for the four bargaining units. Negotiations for this historic cycle are thus closed. The Council of Care Unions negotiated jointly for the first time after the government legalized the creation of the four health social councils in 2015. The process required the integration of collective agreements from four different unions into an agreement for the Nova Scotia Health Authority and one for the IWK Health Centre. The process of obtaining this distinction and the collective agreement was unique. The members of the four bargaining units voted overwhelmingly in favour of further mediation and conciliation in order to obtain their first collective agreement under the new collective agreement.
Collective agreements on health care, administrators and nurses have been previously recognized by Kaplan`s collective agreements. The award was given for health promotion following negotiations with the employer that began at the end of August 2018. The Commission reviewed the negotiating priorities and collective agreements of Unifor, NSGEU, CUPE and NSNU on acute care. The team checks the language of the contract for all nurses in all categories to reach consensus on what to achieve, what needs to be expanded and what compromises may be needed. The Board held more than 50 bargaining meetings with employer representatives and attempted to negotiate 16 collective agreements up to one for the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the IWK. To date, the parties have held 27 rounds of negotiations to conduct a very complex package of negotiations that requires the pooling of collective agreements between the four unions (Unifor, NSGEU, CUPE and NSNU) in the areas of acute care and municipal care.