Health Support workers ratify agreement with Nova Scotia Health, IWK

The following is a joint media release issued by CUPE, NSGEU and Unifor

Halifax — Health Support workers have ratified a new collective agreement with the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the IWK, with the largest increases for the lowest-paid workers whose wage scales will now reach $20 per hour.

“The bargaining committee was focused on achieving real gains for these valuable members of the health care team and fought for every wage scale to reach $20 per hour,” said Jennifer Murray, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director. “We’re proud of this agreement and what it will mean to the thousands of workers who keep our hospitals operational, clean, and safe.”

Members receive a total 6.5% wage increase overall, with an additional dollar increase for those at the lower wage to bring all members to $20.

“We are hopeful this agreement will help Health Support workers feel respected for their essential contributions to the health care system in our province,” said Sandra Mullen, President of NSGEU. “Pushing for a living wage for all workers is necessary and we continue to expect to set respectful wages across health care teams.”

Talks between the Health Support Bargaining Unit and Nova Scotia Health and the IWK reached an impasse in May 2022, and the unions filed for conciliation. A tentative agreement was then reached through conciliation on August 16, 2022.

“Workers have tremendous power when we work together to lift each other up and win respectable wages like this group has achieved,” said Bev Strachan, President of CUPE Local 8920. “Step by step, we are working to improve jobs in health care so they remain good jobs — for the good of workers and patients.”

The Health Support Bargaining Unit is comprised of more than 3,500 members represented by Unifor, CUPE and NSGEU who are employed in hospitals and other facilities across the province. The Bargaining Unit represents more than 60 classifications, including environmental services, dietary and food services, porters, electricians, plumbers, laundry services, protection services, power engineers and more.

The Health Care Council of Unions bargaining committee for the Health Support Unit consists of three members from Unifor, five from NSGEU and three from CUPE.