Nova Scotia

Rural hospital workers accept wage hike

Thousands of acute-care workers around Nova Scotia are getting raises of 7.5 per cent over three years.

Thousands of acute-care workers around Nova Scotia are getting raises of 7.5 per cent over three years.

The workers outside the Capital Health district ratified a three-year deal that also gives them better job security, their union announced Monday.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees said its members "overwhelmingly" accepted the deal with the district health authorities, though it didn't give a number.

The tentative deal was reached on May 18. It took a week for CUPE members to vote on it.

"We are very pleased with the outcome," Karen MacKenzie, a member of CUPE's bargaining committee, said in a statement.

The 3,500 employees work at 33 hospitals around Nova Scotia. They include licensed practical nurses, psychologists, dietary and housekeeping staff, and other groups.

Thousands of unionized workers at Capital Health threatened to strike last month to back their contract demands.

The 3,600 members of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union accepted a deal that allows an arbitrator to decide a three-year wage increase of between 6.5 per cent and just over nine per cent.

That decision is expected no later than June 15.