One nurses' union favoured by Nova Scotia health minister
'I think he needs to get his priorities straight,' says NSGEU head Joan Jessome
Nova Scotia's health minister is raising the prospect of having the province's nurses represented by one union instead of two.
The Liberal government has pledged to amalgamate health districts across the province and Health Minister Leo Glavine says he's in favour of dealing with one union.
"I like the idea of having one nurses' union," he said Tuesday.
He said legislation amalgamating the province's 10 district health authorities into two will be ready by September.
The Nova Scotia Nurses' Union represents about 6,600 nurses and president Janet Hazelton said Tuesday she wants the status quo to remain. The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union represents about 2,300 nurses.
The NSGEU, which represents nurses at the Capital District Health Authority, has fought bitterly with the McNeil government.
Some nurses represented by the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union were part of an illegal strike earlier this month to protest essential services legislation and many walked out legally a few days later.
The legislation forced the nurses back to work.
Joan Jessome, the president of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union, said the health minister is focusing on the wrong things.
"We have a minister concerned about who represents nurses? I think he needs to get his priorities straight, to be quite honest," she said.