“I think what comes out of it is something that has a number of improvements for workers. But I think it was only inevitable if we merged so many collective agreements. After five days of mediation, William Kaplan returned the award on Wednesday and reached an agreement for workers represented by a board of four health unions in Nova Scotia – the Nova Scotia Government – General Employees Union, nova Scotia Nurses` Union, CUPE and Unifor. Mr. Kaplan indicated mediation and conciliation dates for the four bargaining units. The Health Care Bargaining Unit`s mediation/conciliation will run from July 30 to August 3. Mr. Kaplan suggested that he expected to make a decision on the conclusion of the collective agreement shortly after August 3. A collective agreement is a contract negotiated between union members and their employer. CUPE 8920 members vote on whether collective agreements that define wages and working conditions should be accepted. To date, the parties have held 27 rounds of negotiations to conduct a very complex package of negotiations that requires the pooling of collective agreements between the four unions (Unifor, NSGEU, CUPE and NSNU) in the areas of acute care and municipal care. The Nova Scotia Union Council (NSNU, NSGEU, CUPE and Unifor) and the employers` group have concluded the collective bargaining and refer all outstanding issues to arbitrator William Kaplan.
Mr. Kaplan was seen as a mediator arbiter for all acute care, collective agreements in an agreement that was ratified by a large majority of workers in May of this year. The Commission reviewed the negotiating priorities and collective agreements of Unifor, NSGEU, CUPE and NSNU on acute care. The team checks the language of the contract for all nurses in all categories to reach consensus on what to achieve, what needs to be expanded and what compromises may be needed. The Nova Scotia Health Council is made up of members of the Unifor, NSGEU, CUPE and NSNU negotiating committee and has been trying to negotiate a new collective agreement since October 2016. This complex round of negotiations has proven to be a long and difficult process, but the Council is working together to ensure that progress continues in the best interests of all members. For Unifor members in the health field, the new collective agreement is in a different format with new language and there are significant changes in several articles, including: The Health Unions Council of the Health Committee have spent the last few weeks having a mediation arbitration hearing for last week in July with arbitrator Mediator William Kaplan, who entered into a collective health agreement for our adherence to the acute care sector with the Scotia Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) and I. The trial that led to this sentence began almost two years ago, when the Council of Public Health Unions began negotiating 16 collective agreements for the IWK and one for the NSHA. Mediation – the arbitration agreement provides for six-year (2014-2020) wage increases, including retroactive compensation, protects important benefits and provides a mediation arbitration process that will conclude all collective agreements for the four units, health care, support services and administrators by the end of 2018. The strike vote is an important next step in negotiations for a new collective agreement for members of the health sector. After more than a year of negotiations, management has significantly slowed the pace of negotiations over the past two months. This board is composed of Unifor, CUPE, NSNU and NSGEU.
This board is now responsible for collective bargaining for all acute hospital workers in Nova Scotia. By the end of 2017, the Council had made minimal progress and almost total closure at the negotiating table.