October 1, 2014
Honourable Stephen McNeil
Premier of Nova Scotia
Office of the Premier
7th Floor, One Government Place
1700 Granville Street
P.O. Box 726
Halifax, NS B3J 2T3
Dear Premier McNeil:
On behalf of 7200 PSAC union members, I am writing to voice our total dissatisfaction with your government’s introduction of Bill-1: The New Health Authorities Act.
This Bill is clearly about diminishing the power of unions and health care workers, and setting the stage for wage restraint and diminished benefits. Just like the Harper government, this Bill is being introduced with no public discussion or consultation with the affected workers. The way in which your government is trying to control the process of collective bargaining is clearly a lack of respect towards workers.
This type of legislation is unconstitutional and is the first of its kind in the country. There is no instance in Canadian history where workers have had their union imposed on them.
Health care workers deserve our appreciation for the work they do, and should definitely have a say in which union will represent them in the future. They also deserve a government that respects its commitment and I would like to remind you of two key promises you made to health care workers:
· ‘Respect and continue to respect your hard-earned rights and collective agreement’
· ‘All existing collective agreements will remain in place; successor rights will be protected; and benefits and salaries will be carried over into the new system.’
Finally, this legislation will drive health care workers out of Nova Scotia at a time when we’re facing ‘alarming’ shortages. Once again, health care workers deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
I urge you to withdraw this legislation immediately.
Regional Executive Vice-President, PSAC Atlantic
cc.: Rick Clarke, President, Nova Scotia Federation of Labour
Joan Jessome, President, Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union
Danny Cavanagh, President, Canadian Union of Public Employees – Nova Scotia
Janet Hazelton, President, Nova Scotia Nurses Union
Lana Payne, Atlantic Director, Unifor