As part of the negotiations, the Council continues to work to negotiate an Essential Services Agreement (ESA) that would include all 6,500 members of the Public Health Tariff Unit. Given that the Commission and employers have based all proposals on the current NSGEU Local Collective Agreement 42, the Commission estimates that this is close to 70% of the road to an interim agreement for iWK and NASHA. However, the most difficult and controversial issues, such as benefits, wages, job security, pensions, job vacancy notices, working hours, sick leave and redistribution, have not yet been addressed. The members of Unifor, NSGEU, CUPE and NSNU are united and have agreed to act in solidarity for all workers who aspire to fair collective agreements for the four unions, without a collective agreement or a four-year wage increase. The employer`s proposals were not accepted by the Council and are just the latest attack by the Liberal government on workers after McNeil used wage and pension freeze laws that make most health care workers in Nova Scotia the lowest paid in the country. ESA will cover all 6,500 health care workers across the province, making it a very complex task. In addition to the complications in the ESA negotiations, the employers` negotiators for essential services were removed from the table during the summer and refused to return. This distinction allows collective bargaining to be concluded within this unit and there is now a collective agreement. Negotiations for this historic cycle are thus closed. The Council of Care Unions negotiated jointly for the first time after the government legalized the creation of the four health social councils in 2015. The process required the integration of collective agreements from four different unions into an agreement for the Nova Scotia Health Authority and one for the IWK Health Centre. 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.
If there is no agreement on sickness and pension benefits through the negotiation process or mediation, the arbitrator must accept the status quo, as in past agreements McNeil Liberal legislation prohibits health care workers from striking until an essential service agreement has been reached and has not yet been negotiated. Earlier this month, the Council of Trade Unions presented employers with a comprehensive essential services plan. Employers` delay in securing a key service agreement has limited the leverage of unions at the bargaining table. This is all the more the reason why all workers are calling for a strike warrant. The agreement is a voluntary agreement for mediation/conciliation of outstanding issues after collective bargaining for each of the bargaining units. Even if this proposal is approved, negotiations will continue for some time. The appointed mediator will attempt to support the parties to an agreement through mediation, but will make a binding decision on the issues that will not be resolved.