Nova Scotia nurses accept tentative agreements

Low voter turnout returns a 55 per cent ratification vote
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 04/21/2011

Unionized nurses in Nova Scotia have reached tentative agreements with the provincial government. Both the acute care agreement and long-term care agreement received a 55 per cent ratification vote.

The voter turnout from the Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union (NSNU) was only at 30 per cent, though. This indicates that members aren’t happy with the deal, says NSNU president Janet Hazelton.

“Many of our nurses have told us directly that they were not pleased with various aspects of these agreements,” Hazelton said in a release issued yesterday, citing the low economic increase as the main issue.

Nurses will be receiving a one per cent increase in each year of the two-year contracts. The one per cent increase is currently the provincial standard. Hazelton emphasized that the bargaining team was able to eliminate mandatory overtime for acute care nurses and align the agreement for long-term care nurses more closely to their acute care colleagues.

“We will live with this agreement for another six months at which time we will speak to our members, re-focus and go back to the table after these agreements expire in the fall,” Hazelton said.

The two contracts are retroactive to Nov. 1, 2009, expiring on Oct. 31, 2011.

Nurses included in these agreements work at IWK Health Centre, Dartmouth General Hospital and long-term care facilities represented by the Health Association of Nova Scotia.

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