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Home / News / Nova Scotia Health Authority and IWK Health Centre reach collective agreements for all four bargaining units / Government Invests in IWK Emergency Department Expansion, Replacement MRI
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Nova Scotia Health Authority and IWK Health Centre reach collective agreements for all four bargaining units / Government Invests in IWK Emergency Department Expansion, Replacement MRI

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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.

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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.

Government Invests in IWK Emergency Department Expansion, Replacement MRI

Government and the IWK Health Centre announced plans today, Dec. 4, to double the size of the emergency department and replace an aging MRI scanner.

“Children, youth and families from Nova Scotia receive excellent care at the IWK emergency department,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “The expansion will ensure a larger, more modern emergency department for patients, families, physicians and staff.”

The expansion will help address the increase in patients being seen at the emergency department and accommodate more complex cases. Over the last two years, there has been a 14 per cent increase in patient visits, with more than 33,000 visits to the emergency department last year.

“As demand for our services increases and the delivery of care evolves, the physical environment that our physicians and staff work within to provide care needs to evolve as well,” said IWK Health Centre president and CEO, Dr. Krista Jangaard. “We are pleased and excited that government is investing in areas of care that will increase access, facilitate more effective care delivery and meet the needs of patients and families we serve.”

Government is investing $1.4 million in the design development phase, which is expected to be completed by next summer. A request for proposals for design development will be issued in the new year, and construction is expected to begin during summer 2020.

“A redesigned emergency department will ensure the IWK continues to meet updated standards around patient and staff safety, confidentiality and infection prevention and control,” said Dr. Shannon MacPhee, chief, IWK Emergency Medicine. “It will also encourage more innovation amongst care providers and allow the department to better meet the needs of those patients who present with mental health concerns.”

Government will also invest $6.9 million for the IWK to purchase a new MRI scanner and complete associated renovations. The new equipment will replace an existing, aging MRI scanner, and is expected to be in place by spring 2020. An MRI scanner is a diagnostic imaging tool that provides non-invasive, detailed images of internal organs and structures.

The IWK Health Centre is the Maritime region’s leading health care and research centre dedicated to the well-being of women, children, youth and families

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Source : Media Release

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