Nova Scotia Nurses' Union staff provides advice and answers to members' questions on topics such as filing grievances, interpreting contracts, negotiations and legal advice. Below are some of our most frequently asked questions.
How Does NSNU Serve You?
The NSNU is a service-oriented organization whose main objective is to provide information, assistance, guidance and support for our members.
As such, to better serve you and to expedite your requests of staff, we ask that you direct your correspondence to our executive director, Chris Albrecht at chris.albrecht [at] nsnu.ca. As the executive director, Chris is able to assign specific tasks to available and appropriate staff.
Members seeking assistance from labour relations representatives, or with requests for merchandise and other tangible materials, accounting services, login and database-related matters, can maintain direct communications with those departments.
We thank you for your cooperation.
What is a grievance?
A Grievance is any violation or difference of interpretation of a collective agreement. Some agreements can include any other complaint relating to working conditions or relations between the nurses and the Hospital concerning the meaning, interpretation, application, administration or alleged violation of this Agreement. The NSNU represents numerous nurses in grievances each year.
What is arbitration?
Arbitration is the process by which the parties to a dispute submit their differences to the judgment of an impartial person or group appointed by mutual consent or statutory provision.
Arbitrations are referred to that stage by the Grievance Committee upon denial of the grievance by the Employer at the final grievance stage. At this point, an Arbitrator is appointed to provide a final and binding decision on the Grievance.
How do I file a grievance?
If you have a grievance with your employer, your first step is to speak with your Local’s Shop Steward/Local Executive Member, who is trained to assist you in the grievance process.
How does NSNU name locals?
The Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union does not use Local numbers. Your Local is identified by the name of the workplace. (e.g. IWK, Cape Breton Regional Hospital, Glasgow Hall)
Why does the NSNU need my up-to-date information?
Informing members about collect bargaining, online voting, events, policy changes, and other general communications allows nurses to be a full participant in the Union and the decisions made on your behalf by the NSNU.
It is important for the NSNU to have the most current information possible regarding members' contact and employment information as it enables us to reach you with relevant memos, information on tentative agreements, newsletters and other items of interest.
Many communications materials, particularly Campaigner emails, may be targeted to members based on their designation or location, so updating us on these changes will ensure you get the information that is pertinent to you.
Additionally, updating us on name or address changes will ensure your newsletters and other physical materials make it to their proper destination.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.
How do I update my personal information?
Are you working for a new employer or a different facility? Have you changed your designation, address, phone number or email? If so, you may be missing out on important Union communications.
By filling out the Member Information Form located on the Orientation page (nsnu.ca/education/orientation), and sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org, NSNU staff will ensure your information is updated in our secure system.
Alternatively, please contact the NSNU office at 1-800/902-469-1474 or email@example.com
What is the Council of Nurses Unions (CONU)?
In April 2015 the Nova Scotia Council of Nursing Unions (CONU) was established. The Council is made up of four unions that represent nurses working in acute care in Nova Scotia – NSNU, CUPE, NSGEU and Unifor.
Within the Council model, each union continues to represent their members independently, but will bargain collective agreements jointly.
Within the Council structure, there is a lead union based on the number of members they represent in that sector. As the NSNU represents the most nurses in acute care, we serve as the lead union and provide the Chief Negotiator. The Deputy Chief Negotiator is provided by the second union, NSGEU.
The CONU bargaining committee is comprised of 11 members from NSNU, seven NSGEU, one from CUPE and one from Unifor, as well as a staff member from each union. The NSNU members who sit on the CONU bargaining committee are elected by our acute care members.
To learn more about the CONU and the current collective agreement, click here.
What is the difference between the Union and the College?
The Union is your certified bargaining agent to represent you in matters concerning your employment that arise under the collective agreement.
The College is the regulatory body for all licensed nurses in the province. Due to recent changes to the Nursing Act, the Colleges for LPNs, RNs and NPs have merged to become the Nova Scotia College of Nursing (NSCN).
Please note that any questions regarding the renewal of, or registration for professional licenses are to be directed to the College. See below for contact information.
Nova Scotia College of Nursing
Suite 300 – 120 Western Parkway
Bedford, Nova Scotia, B4B 0V2
Local Phone: 902-444-6726
Toll Free in Canada: 833-267-6726