Nova Scotia

Leo Glavine introduces health unions bargaining bill

Four councils would negotiate collective agreements on behalf of unionized health workers in Nova Scotia when the number of health authorities is cut from 10 to two next week under legislation introduced today by the government.

Four councils will negotiate for health care workers following merger

Protesters gather in front of Province House last year to protest the government's push to cut the number of health care bargaining units. (Catharine Tunney/CBC)

Four councils would negotiate collective agreements on behalf of unionized health workers in Nova Scotia when the number of health authorities is cut from 10 to two next week under legislation introduced today by the government.

Health Minister Leo Glavine says the councils would bargain on behalf of nursing, health care, support and administrative workers.

The Nova Scotia Nurses Union would be the lead negotiator for nurses and licensed practical nurses, the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union would bargain for health care workers, Unifor would handle talks for support workers and CUPE for administrative professionals.

The legislative changes follow an agreement struck with the province's public-sector unions earlier this month after the government dismissed an arbitrator it hired to settle issues surrounding union representation under the bill passed last fall.

Glavine says the changes will streamline bargaining by cutting the number of units from 50 to four.

NDP labour critic Frank Corbett says the changes represent a government retreat on a position that unions had advocated in negotiations last summer.

now