Health care unions applaud Liberals for not supporting strike ban



    HALIFAX, Sept. 12 /CNW/ - A coalition of health care unions representing
some 32,000 nurses and health care workers in Nova Scotia is applauding
today's announcement from Liberal Leader Stephen MacNeil that his party won't
be supporting a ban on health care strikes.
    Coalition spokesperson Rick Clarke says, "We are very pleased that the
Liberals have seen through this clearly political move by the MacDonald
government. They know as well as we do, that such a ban would make health
shortages worse in our province, not better."
    Says Clarke, "Nurses and health care workers in Nova Scotia are saying
they do not want their bargaining rights taken away. They want the real issues
in health care dealt with, including things like shortages, wait times, ER
closures and mental health issues.
    "We also understand that both parties agree with us that essential
services legislation is not going to solve the real problems in health care,"
says Clarke.
    On a related front, health care employers waded into the debate today
with the NSAHO saying it supports the government's planned legislation.
    Says Clarke, "The NSAHO is a bargaining agent of the government.  This
legislation would give them a clear upper hand in bargaining, by taking away
the only power that health care workers have.
    "The bottom line," says Clarke, "is who are you going to believe - the
health care workers that you entrust with your health and well being or the
employers?"
    "The premier has simply not thought this legislation through. It will
give employers a clear advantage in bargaining and will have a serious
negative impact on our ability to recruit and retain people and will mean
shortages will get worse and wait times will get longer," he says.

    To find out more about this issue visit www.dontmakeshortagesworse.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Rick Clarke at (902) 454-6735; Janet Hazelton,
NSNU, (902) 456-2084; Shauna Wilcox, CAW, (902) 539-9024; Gerard Higgins,
SEIU, (902) 455-1095; Joan Jessome, NSGEU, (902)471-4566; Danny Cavanagh,
CUPE, (902) 957-0822; Dwayne Fitzgerald, IUOE (902) 539 5438, Fred Furlong,
CUPW, (902) 454-5812

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Canadian Union of Public Employees - Atlantic Region

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