A warning for taxpayers in Nova Scotia

A shorter version of this editorial was published in the Halifax Metro newspaper special edition on unions, published April 24, 2017, along with this ad (see photo below).

Time and time again provincial governments are forced to admit they were wrong to use public private partnerships (P3s) to construct health care facilities, costing taxpayers billions of dollars. Yet here we are as the McNeill Government embarks on another foreseeable failure with the QEII redevelopment project.

Last year, the Liberal government realized their mistake to privately construct and lease 39 schools. They should have owned the schools outright from the start. They recently bought back the leases for 26 of the schools, at an additional cost of approximately $162 million. The alternative was to walk away empty handed, while developers pocket the money spent over the years ($726 million on principal and interest payments) and keep the buildings.

First P3 schools, now P3 hospitals. It was recently reported that the government paid 12 times the assessed value of land purchased for a new outpatient centre.

Similar in scope to the QEII redevelopment, a review in 2014 of the P3 used to finance Montreal’s University Health Centres found that the capital costs were at least $1.8 billion over the original price tag. See more examples at novascotia.cupe.ca/no-room-for-profit-in health-care.

Why would the McNeil Government rely on P3s with higher-cost private financing? There’s a desire by many politicians to keep borrowing costs off their books, at least in the short term.

P3s are not in the best interest of workers, our families or our communities.

Nan McFadgen
CUPE Nova Scotia President

54th Annual Convention Call – 2017

Please see the attached documents relating to the 54th Annual CUPE Nova Scotia Convention.  Convention runs from Sunday, May 28th and ends on close of business on Wednesday, May 31.  All delegates are encouraged to make arrangements to stay until the end of business.

Document 1 – 2017 Convention Call Documents

Document _2 – CUPE NS Education Committee Letter November 7, 2015

Document _3 – 2017 Blank Resolution Form

Document _4 – Sample Resolution

Document _5 – 2017 Blank Constitutional Amendment Form

Document _6 – 2017 Resolutions and Constitutional Amendments – Important Info

Document _7 – 2017 Convention Solidarity Assistance Fund – Did You Know

Document _8 – 2017 Guidelines CUPE NS Convention Solidarity Assistance Fund

Document _9 – 2017 Form CUPE NS Convention Solidarity Assistance Fund

Document _10 – 2017 Child Care Request

Document _11 – 2017 CUPE NS Special Meal Request

Document _12 – Per Capita Increase Letter February 1, 2017

Document _13 – 2017 Barb Kowlaski Literacy Award

Document _14 – 2017 CUPE NS OH&S Award

Document _15 – 2017 Steward Of The Year Nomination Form

Document _16 – 2017 CUPE NS Rocky Jones Bursary

Document _17 – 2017 Higgins Insurance Scholarship

McNeil Liberals have created an unnecessary crisis for Nova Scotia labour relations: CUPE

Rally to support NSTU teachers at the NS Legislature

CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen wants the McNeil Government to know they have created an unnecessary crisis in labour negotiations in the province. “Collective bargaining works if all parties respect the process. Our members are at bargaining tables every day, working to find solutions,” says McFadgen. “The McNeil Government, on the other hand, is attacking the hard-earned constitutional rights of workers.”

It’s important for the public to know that these attacks not only affect teachers. They also affect more than 75,000 public service employees across the province, including CUPE members who work in education, acute care, long term care, home care, and more.

“February 21st was a dark day for labour relations in Nova Scotia. By passing Bill 75, the Premier has created an atmosphere of extreme mistrust between union members and their government,” says McFadgen.

CUPE believes Bill 75 is also potentially harmful to students and workers in the Nova Scotia education system. Inclusion in our schools is important and should be looked at to find best practices and ways to improve the system. However, CUPE members who perform this work daily, are not considered under the Inclusion Committee created through Bill 75.

“A large part of the inclusion program is working with students with special needs. This work is performed by dedicated CUPE members who are educational program assistants and teacher assistants,” says Grant Dart, CUPE school board coordinator.

“CUPE members are frustrated by the Premier’s refusal to recognize the value of the jobs education workers do, including members who work in all support staff classifications within schools. CUPE members are the workers that keep the entire system working,” says Dart.

“We believe the McNeil Government’s attacks on workers’ constitutional rights will reflect poorly for the Liberals in the next provincial election,” adds McFadgen.

CUPE Nova Scotia represents more than 19,000 workers who provide public services vital to every community in the province. Members work in sectors including school boards, health care, long term care, municipalities, highways, home care, universities and social services.

2017 Nova Scotia Workshop Schedule

union education workshop

Workshops for CUPE NS members February to December of 2017

We are pleased to announce the schedule of workshops being offered to for all CUPE members in Nova Scotia from February to December of 2017.

As always you are not limited to those listed. If you would like to have other workshops arranged for your local, or scheduled on weekdays or evenings, please contact your CUPE Education Representative and they will make arrangements to meet your locals’ needs.

A printable PDF version of the registration form is available with the schedule here: NS 2017 workshop schedule.

Online registration

For your convenience, online registration is available at cupe.ca/unioneducation.

DATE WORKSHOP LOCATION EXTRAS
February 11 – 12, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • Creating an accommodation-friendly workplace
  • Handling grievances
  • Representing members in front of management
Amherst

Super 8
40 Lord Amherst Drive, Hwy. 104 (exit 4)
Amherst, NS

 

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

 

February 11 – 12, 2017 Duty to accommodate Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

February 25 – 26, 2017  

Nova Scotia pension plans

 

 

Bridgewater

Best Western Plus Bridgewater
527 Hwy.10 (exit 12)
Cookville, NS

NOTE: If you have a pension plan in your workplace, bring your annual pension statement.                          This is not a retirement planning workshop

 

March 4 – 5, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • What a steward needs to know about bargaining
  • What stewards need to know about arbitration
  • Being an ally for equality
Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

 

March 4 – 5, 2017 Health & Safety Series:

  • Identifying and documenting hazards
  • Making committees work
  • Basics of incident investigation
Yarmouth

Mariner’s Centre
45 Jody Shelley Drive Yarmouth, NS

 

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Health and Safety: an introduction

 

 

March 18 – 19, 2017 Health & Safety Series:

  • Women and work hazards
  • Solidarity beyond borders
  • Using our mobilization power to advance health & safety
Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Health & Safety Series: an introduction

 

March 18 – 19, 2017 Duty to accommodate Sydney

CUPE Sydney Area office
500 George Street
Sydney, NS

 

 
April 22 – 23, 2017 Social media Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

 
April 22 – 23, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • Creating an accommodation-friendly workplace
  • Connecting with indigenous workers
  • Conflict resolution skills for stewards
Sydney

CUPE Sydney Area office
500 George Street
Sydney, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

 

April 29 – 30, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • Handling grievances
  • Green action for stewards
  • Challenging homophobia in the workplace
Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

 

April 29 – 30, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • Creating an accommodation-friendly workplace
  • Connecting with indigenous workers
  • Conflict resolution skills for stewards
Liverpool

Best Western Plus Liverpool
63 Queens Place Drive
Liverpool, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

 

April 29 – 30, 2017 Health & Safety Series:

  • Identifying and documenting hazards
  • Making committees work
  • Basics of incident investigation
New Glasgow

CUPE New Glasgow Area office
115 McLean Street
New Glasgow, NS

 

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Health & Safety Series: an introduction

 

May 6 – 7, 2017 Financial officers Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

SUGGESTED:

Bring a laptop if you have one & a pencil

May 6 – 7, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • What a steward needs to know about bargaining
  • What stewards need to know about arbitration
  • Being an ally for equality
Yarmouth

Mariner’s Centre
45 Jody Shelley Drive Yarmouth, NS

 

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

 

May 13 – 14, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • Handling discipline & discharge
  • Resolving grievances without going to arbitration
  • Challenging racism in the workplace
Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

May 13 – 14, 2017 Analyzing your collective agreement Sydney

CUPE Sydney Area office 500 George Street
Sydney, NS

Bring your current collective agreement

 

ONE DAY ONLY

June 3 – 4, 2017 Conflict resolution Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

 
June 3 – 4, 2017 Health & Safety Series:

  • Women and work hazards
  • Solidarity beyond borders
  • Using our mobilization power to advance health & safety
Sydney

CUPE Sydney Area office
500 George Street
Sydney, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Health & Safety Series: an introduction

 

June 10 -11, 2017 Parliamentary procedures Amherst

Super 8
40 Lord Amherst Drive, Hwy. 104 (exit 4) Amherst, NS

 

 
June 10 -11, 2017 Health & Safety Series:

  • Violence prevention in the workplace
  • Law and order(s)
  • Ergonomics

 

Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Health & Safety Series: an introduction

 

September 23-24, 2017 Stewarding: an introduction Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

 
September 23-24, 2017 Health & Safety Series:

  • Violence prevention in the workplace
  • Law & order(s)
  • Ergonomics
Sydney

CUPE Sydney Area office
500 George Street
Sydney, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Health & Safety Series: an introduction

 

October 14 – 15, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • Understanding mental health
  • Creating psychologically healthy and safe workplaces
Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

October 28-29, 2017 Health & Safety: an introduction Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

 
October 28-29, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • Mobilizing workers
  • Creating harassment-free workplaces
  • Literacy awareness for stewards
Sydney

CUPE Sydney Area office
500 George Street
Sydney, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

 

November 18-19, 2017 Steward Learning Series:

  • Creating an accommodation-friendly workplace
  • Connecting with indigenous workers
  • Conflict resolution skills for stewards
Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Stewarding: an introduction

November 18-19, 2017 Health & Safety Series:

  • Preventing injuries at work
  • Workload & overwork
  • Harassment prevention in the workplace
Sydney

CUPE Sydney Area office
500 George Street
Sydney, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Health & Safety Series: an introduction

 

November 25-26, 2017 Health & Safety Series:

  • Preventing injuries at work
  • Workload & overwork
  • Harassment prevention in the workplace
Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Health & Safety Series: an introduction

 

November 25-26, 2017 Stewarding: an introduction Yarmouth

Mariner’s Centre

45 Jody Shelley Drive Yarmouth, NS

 

 
December 2 – 3, 2017 Health & Safety Series:

  • Women and work hazards
  • Solidarity beyond borders
  • Using our mobilization power to advance health & safety

 

Amherst

Super 8
40 Lord Amherst Drive, Hwy. 104 (exit 4)
Amherst, NS

 

PREREQUISITE

Members must have previously taken –

Health & Safety Series: an introduction

 

December 2 – 3, 2017 Public speaking Dartmouth

Atlantic Regional Office 271 Brownlow Avenue
Dartmouth, NS

 
December 2 – 3, 2017 Health & Safety: an introduction Liverpool

Best Western Plus Liverpool
63 Queens Place Drive
Liverpool, NS

 

CUPE 8920 Health Care Bargaining Update – January 19, 2017

CUPE 8920 logo

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

The Health Care Bargaining Council, which includes members of the CUPE 8920 bargaining committee, has made a formal bargaining complaint on Thursday, January 19, 2017, against your employer with the Labour Board.

Bargaining between the Nova Scotia Council of Health Care Unions and the NSHA and IWK has stalled because the Employers are refusing to tell the Unions what they are proposing for key aspects of the new collective agreements.

The Council of Unions’ bargaining committee is made up of three members, from CUPE, six from NSGEU, and one from Unifor. The Council has repeatedly asked for the NSHA and IWK to table their full proposals. The Employers have refused.

At issue are three key proposals: sick leave; health and life benefits plans; and pay plan maintenance (the process that evaluates whether people are properly paid for the work they do).

The Council has repeatedly informed the Employers that their refusal to table key proposals leaves the Council at an unfair disadvantage where it is being asked to bargain in the dark and leave critical cornerstone elements of our agreement to be negotiated after issues of key importance to the employer are dealt with. The Employers’ refusal to table those proposals has left bargaining at an impasse as the Council will not continue bargaining until the items are tabled.

In order to end the impasse and resume bargaining on the health care agreement, the Council of Unions has filed a complaint with the Labour Board. That complaint asks that the Board order the “Employers to prepare and table forthwith a comprehensive proposal for a collective agreement for the Health Care Bargaining Unit.”

SICK LEAVE

There are two sick leave plans currently in use across the NSHA and IWK.

The Council of Unions has proposed using the Short Term Illness Plan that is currently in place, in what was known as the former Capital District Health Authority, for most NSHA and IWK employees and it has proposed keeping the existing short term illness plan for Public Health Addictions and Continuing Care employees.

If successful, this proposal means CUPE 8920 members would move to the Short Term Illness plan, which would improve sick leave coverage for people who have illness or injury early in their working careers or recurring illnesses or injuries in a short period of time.

Although Short Term Illness pays at 75% or regular pay, depending on sick leave utilization, members can accrue “top up credits” that could provide for 100% paid sick leave in roughly half the time as CUPE members’ current plan.

The Employers are refusing to say what they will propose despite the fact bargaining has started.

GROUP HEALTH & LIFE

There are also three different group health and life plans in operation at the NSHA and IWK. The Council of Unions has proposed keeping the status quo and leaving people in their existing plans. The Employers have said they just want one plan and they want complete control of the plan including the ability to change it at their sole discretion. But the Employers are again refusing to say what that plan would be. These benefits plans cover everything from dental care and drug plans to retiree benefits.

JOINT JOB EVALUATION PROCESS

The Joint Job Evaluation process evaluates whether people are properly paid for the work they do. The Council has proposed the current job evaluation process already in place at the former Capital Health Authority, but with changes that will address delays that have stalled important re-evaluations in the past.

The Employers have not tabled a proposal, however they have recently said they will do so soon. If so, this issue would be resolved.

For further information on the bargaining process to date, as well as background on the formation of the Health Care bargaining council, please visit our website: countmein.cupe.ca.

If you have questions or concerns about the bargaining process, please contact a member of your CUPE 8920 bargaining committee:

• Bev Strachan – bevjmason@hotmail.com
• Cheryl Burbidge – clb@live.ca
• Dianne Frittenburg – fritt@bellaliant.net