HALIFAX – A tentative agreement has been reached between Capital Health and NSGEU Local 42, averting a strike by about 3,700 health care professionals that was set for Thursday.
No details will be released pending a ratification vote by Local 42 members.
“This news is the best outcome we could have hoped for our patients and their families,” Chris Power, president and CEO of Capital Health, said late in the day Wednesday. “We know that even the threat of a strike has had a tremendous impact on them, as well as on our employees, both in Local 42 and others.
“We are anxious now to turn our energy to returning to normal operations, providing safe, quality care to the citizens of the district, as well as specialist care to patients from other parts of Atlantic Canada.”
Some services, such as diagnostic imaging and labs, will resume full operations by Thursday. Rebooking of postponed appointments at outpatient clinics will be done as quickly as possible, based on the clinical priorities and as determined by the physician and administrative co-leader. Until the agreement is ratified, Capital Health expects to maintain some bed closures.
“If the agreement isn’t accepted by the membership, the union will still be in a legal strike position – and the threat to our operations remains,” said Power. “That said, following a successful vote, there would be no lag time in reopening beds.”
An agreement was reached after five days of talks assisted by mediator Bruce Outhouse, appointed by the Nova Scotia government.
Local 42 is made up of many of the professionals who provide direct care and others whose roles support care. Members work in more than 250 roles.