Premier Stephen McNeil
Office of the Premier
7th Floor, One Government Place
1700 Granville Street
P.O Box 726
Halifax, NS B3J 2T3
April 2, 2014
I’m writing to you on behalf of 7200 PSAC members in Nova Scotia. We are deeply concerned and outraged by the actions of your government with the introduction of Bill 37 (essential services act).
Just like the Harper government, this legislation is being introduced with no public consultation. I remember clearly that in 2010, while you were in opposition, you said that emergency service plans should be hammered out in times of labour peace, not days before a possible strike. I couldn’t agree with you more; therefore I have to ask, what changed?
Nurses and all health care workers deserve respect on behalf of their provincial government. The way in which this government is trying to control the process of collective bargaining is clearly a lack of respect towards these workers. Furthermore, it would be much more cost-effective to have the parties negotiating to reach a fair and reasonable collective agreement – they deserve that opportunity.
Health care workers deserve a healthy workplace and good working conditions. We all heard too many stories of nurses who have skipped their lunch hour and worked 12-hour shifts. We support patient safety, therefore, we support the bargaining demands of the NSGEU. Nurses are the front line workers and they know what needs to be done in order to improve patient safety. Better collective agreement equals better patient safety.
For the reasons mentioned above, I strongly urge you and your government to withdraw this Bill, and instead, put pressure on Capital Health to return to the bargaining table to reach an agreement.
Regional Executive Vice-President, PSAC Atlantic
cc.: Atlantic Regional Council