The members of the four unions that make up the Health Care Council of Unions have ratified an agreement with the Nova Scotia Health Authority and IWK Health Centre to accept a final and binding mediation-arbitration process to resolve outstanding issues not addressed through collective bargaining.
The agreement includes provisions for wage increases, a service award payout, and the unions and employers agree that there will be no strike action or lockout of employees.
“This agreement will bring more stability to our health care system, avoid the disruption that a strike would cause for patients, their families and healthcare workers and it will resolve outstanding issues in a timely way,” said Mark Furey, Minister of Labour Relations.
Under the new agreement, the mediation-arbitration process must be completed for all four councils by the end of 2018 unless all parties agree to an extension. New collective agreements will expire in late 2020. The parties also agree to appoint William Kaplan as the mediator-arbitrator.
The Nova Scotia Council of Health Care Unions, which represents non-nursing professions such as physiotherapists, pharmacists, social workers and psychologists, will be the first of the four councils to go through the mediation-arbitration process, with an agreement to be in place by Sept. 1, 2018. Dates for mediation-arbitration have been set for July 30 to Aug. 3, 2018.
The other three councils that must conclude mediation-arbitration, if needed, by the end of 2018 are the Council of Health Administrative Professional Unions, the Council of Health Support Unions and the Council of Nursing Unions.