Nova Scotia

Union says it's excluded in Dal-NSAC merger talks

The Nova Scotia Government Employees Union said Friday that it has been left out of ongoing merger talks between Dalhousie and the Nova Scotia Agricultural College.

Wants more protections for workers

The Nova Scotia Government Employees Union said Friday that it has been left out of ongoing merger talks between Dalhousie University and the Nova Scotia Agricultural College.

NSGEU represents more than three hundred people who work at the Agricultural College.

Joan Jessome, President of the NSGEU, expressed concern that some employees would no longer be unionized after the merger and therefore lose the protection provided by the union.

"You're taking a workforce and you're transferring them to three different collective agreements and some will not even be unionized," she said.

"What we want is the same protection for those workers that every other civil servant has enjoyed."

Jessome said that the union should have a say in the organization in order to ensure that employee rights are protected.

"They're down there telling people, 'oh you're going, you're not going, well you're going to be non-union,' and meeting with people that they haven't even spoke to us about."

Charles Crosby, a Dalhousie spokesman, said that once the merger talks are completed, the process of contract negotiations will sort out what happens to the workers involved. 

He added that the merger will be a good fit because of NSAC research.

Merger negotiations have been underway for weeks. The two sides hope to complete a deal by the spring.

The Truro college is a branch of the provincial government, but in late January an arbitrator ruled its 66 faculty members should be paid like professors, not civil servants.

They were awarded a five per cent raise retroactive over the past two years.

The college's other 238 employees, who are not faculty, were limited to the one per cent raise given to all civil servants.