Nova Scotia Health Authority and IWK Health Centre reach collective agreements for all four bargaining units

Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018

Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) and the IWK Health Centre (IWK) have now reached collective agreements for all four bargaining units representing its unionized employees.

A decision released today, Dec. 4, by mediator/arbitrator Bill Kaplan covered items that were outstanding from collective bargaining for the remaining two bargaining units: nursing and health support. This resolution completes the bargaining process.

The nursing collective agreement applies to registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and nurse practitioners. The health support collective agreement applies to positions such as engineering services, nutrition and food services, environmental services, medical device reprocessing, and others.

“NSHA and the IWK are pleased and encouraged by the successful conclusion of the collective bargaining process,” said Carmelle d’Entremont, NSHA Vice President, People and Organizational Development. “These were complex negotiations and required plenty of thoughtful work on all sides to reduce and consolidate almost 50 agreements down to four agreements per employer.”

Steve Ashton, IWK Vice President, People and Organizational Development, said: “We feel the decision this week from Mr. Kaplan, following a constructive mediation arbitration, is a fair and reasonable result for the employees and employers. Most importantly, we are now in a better position to move forward and continue to provide quality care to the patients and families whom our organizations serve.”

We now have collective agreements settled until Oct. 31, 2020, with the union councils for healthcare, health support, health administrative professionals and nursing.

For NSHA, the new agreement means there will be greater alignment of the terms and conditions for all employees in the bargaining unit across the province. The IWK has its own separate agreement with the council of unions that contains many of the same terms and conditions. However, that agreement also preserves provisions that are specific to the IWK organization.

The mediation arbitration process was ratified by the employers and union councils in May. This allowed for all of the collective agreements to be settled without the threat of labour disruption.

The effective date of the award is Nov. 30, 2018. Except as otherwise noted specifically in the contract or the award, the new collective agreements take effect 60 days from the date of the award which would be Jan. 30, 2019.

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