The strike vote is an important next step in negotiations for a new collective agreement for members of the health sector. After more than a year of negotiations, management has significantly slowed the pace of negotiations over the past two months. There are some monetary gains in the agreement, especially for overtime provisions and stand up and call back. All monetary gains from this new collective agreement will come into effect from the award date (August 8, 2018), except for those due to come into effect on a specified date. For example, some salary increases – which have already been agreed in the conciliation/arbitration vote – are retroactive to 2015 and will soon be visible. The 20-member Caregivers` Council began collective bargaining in early September, and meetings with employers continued until early this week, significantly reducing the issues Mr. Kaplan faces. By the end of the week, Mr. Kaplan will be submitted in writing and we expect him to issue his order setting out the terms of the new collective care agreement shortly after verifying the submissions. The conciliation/arbitration agreement, available on Unifor`s website, was ratified with 92 per cent of the four bargaining units in the four unions. It offers salary increases, retroactive pay until 2014, protection of your current sickness and pension benefits and the possibility of an advance payment of the death benefit. The Department of Labor and Advanced Education has appointed Christina Browning as conciliator, and meetings are scheduled for November 9, 10 and 16. Discussions with management failed in October with Unifor Local 4600 with NSGEU, CUPE and NSNU.
Given the complexity of the task and the fact that unions and employers are far apart but the process is progressing, mediation should take more than these three meetings. The EU Council of Negotiators is continuing its efforts to reach a substantial agreement on services so that the Council can start working together, but the employers` negotiators for essential services were eliminated this summer.