HALIFAX, Aug. 18, 2015 /CNW/ - After 18 months of tensions and attacks
on public sector workers and their unions, the Nova Scotia government
today laid down the next step in its curtailment of workers' rights.
Finance Minister Randy Delorey called union leaders together to discuss
what he called "a new approach" to collective bargaining in his August
11 invitation. He announced today to the unions that there will be no
money for public sector workers for the next five years and will want
to enshrine that in lengthy five-year collective agreements.
"We came here today hoping for a new approach characterized by respect
and cooperation, but what we heard was a reflection of the disrespect
for the workers of this province - just more of the same from this
government," said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director of Unifor.
"They are stopping the conversation before it even begins, at a time
when there is urgent need in Nova Scotia to protect our public services
and ensure the workers are respected."
Payne states that the government continues to demonstrate a lack of
respect for the collective bargaining process by setting conditions
prior to bargaining. She foresees that conflict and upheaval are the
result of an approach like this.
Payne is determined to seek solutions that will work for all Nova
Scotians and aims to collaborate with other union leaders and the local
Unifor membership to develop appropriate plans to move forward.
"The people of Nova Scotia deserve strong public services; this kind of
austerity plan will erode those very services that we depend on in our
daily lives," said Payne. "If we want to get serious about rebuilding
our economy, we have to have more creative strategies than taking money
out of the pockets of our hard-working health care workers and
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing
more than 305,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when
the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers unions merged.
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