Premier Starts Process To Avoid Health Sector Disruptions

first_imgPREMIER’S OFFICE-Premier Starts Process To Avoid Health Sector Disruptions The province will introduce legislation this fall for a fair and impartial system to prevent service disruptions in the health care and related sectors, Premier Rodney MacDonald announced today, May 15. “Nova Scotians deserve to be protected from disruptions to health care, just as health-care workers deserve an effective system for collective bargaining,” Premier MacDonald said. “A system of arbitration is our preferred option at this time. However, if a truly compelling alternative comes to our attention, we will give it serious consideration. “Collective agreements will continue to be negotiated, but we need a fair process to enable health-care workers and their employers to resolve disputes if negotiations reach an impasse. We cannot close the doors of our health system any more than we can do without the services of police or firefighters.” The premier has asked Environment and Labour Minister Mark Parent to oversee a dialogue with Nova Scotians and stakeholders from acute-care facilities, long-term-care facilities, homes for special care, and ambulance services. The objective is to help develop a fair, impartial and independent alternative to strikes or lockouts when collective bargaining reaches an impasse. “We also want to draw on the best practices of other health-care systems as we design a made-in-Nova Scotia solution,” said the premier. Nova Scotia is one of only two provinces in Canada where the right to strike or lockout in the health sector is the same as in private industry. Nova Scotia will have a new process designed to avoid a work stoppage like the recent one at the IWK Health Centre that resulted in the cancellation of services. “I believe our current system of resolving impasses in this sector has failed all of us — workers, management, and the public,” said Premier MacDonald. “Our government is committed to a system that is fair to both health-sector employees and Nova Scotians who expect and deserve health care.”last_img read more