Council of Nursing Unions Bargaining Update

Council of Nursing Unions Bargaining Team

Nursing Council Bargaining Update 

September 2018

Talks got underway on September 5 for the Nova Scotia Council of Nursing Unions. At that time, the Nursing Council exchanged proposals with the Employer group, a group of 19 representatives from the IWK and the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA). Bargaining continued September 6, 19, 20, 21, with additional dates set for October 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19. 

The 20-member Nursing Council is comprised of acute care nurses from NSNU, NSGEU, CUPE, and Unifor. The Council of Nursing Unions bargaining committee includes 11 members from NSNU, seven NSGEU, one from CUPE and one from Unifor.

On September 18, mediator/arbitrator William Kaplan issued an award that establishes a collective agreement for more than 3,000 employees in the Health Administrative Professional Bargaining Unit at the NSHA and the IWK. The award came after one day of mediation-arbitration and concluded a process that began in October 2016. This award set out a six-year term of agreement. Approximately two years remain in the term.

This summer the Health Care Bargaining Unit completed four days of mediation/arbitration with Mr. Kaplan. On Wednesday, August 8, the arbitrator issued an award, a collective agreement for more than 6,000 employees in the Health Care Bargaining Unit at the NSHA and the IWK.

In mid-May of this year, health care workers in acute care (including nurses) voted to accept an agreement with the NSHA and IWK that would allow issues that can not be resolved at the negotiating table to be sent to the independent, third-party mediator-arbitrator (William Kaplan) for a final and binding award.

Further, the agreement provides wage increases over a six-year term (2014-2020), including premiums, retroactive pay, key benefits, and provides a mediation/arbitration process that will conclude all collective agreements for the four bargaining units in Nursing, Health Care, Support Services, and Administrative Professionals by the end of 2018. The week of November 19-23 has been set aside for Nursing Bargaining Unit mediation/arbitration.

Also, under this agreement the parties agree to waive all rights to strike and lockout under the Trade Union Act and agree that no Essential Services Agreement applications will be filed with the Nova Scotia Labour Board while mediation/arbitration is pending, unless mutually agreed otherwise by the parties.

Over the past year, and throughout the summer, the Nursing Council met to review contract language for all nurses, in all categories, to reach consensus on what to preserve, what to expand upon and what compromises may be required. The team reviewed their respective surveys, determined bargaining priorities and discussed the new realities of negotiations in Nova Scotia.

To date, there is very little to report as our negotiations are in the very early stages.

The Council of Nursing Unions is working hard to ensure that your best interests are represented. The team thanks you for your continued support and commits to keeping you informed via regular updates using a variety of communications tools –, Campaigner e-memos, etc.

If you have any questions about this upcoming round of bargaining talks for nurses, please email .