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With CUPE health care workers in Nova Scotia set to resume contract talks on September 4, 2001, the release of Arbitrator Susan Ashleys ruling in the final offer selection process has established a baseline for our bargaining.

It is CUPEs stated position that the 7.5% wage increase for LPNs and other health care workers in NSGEU and NSNU is not satisfactory, and our goal in bargaining will be to improve on that increase. The ruling also included a signing bonus of $1,500.

The Ashley decision also resulted in benefits improvements for all three groups which include regaining sick time lost in the last contract, a maternity top-up provision, the maintenance of overtime pay and provisions in the case of layoff or displacement.

The decision applies to 2,100 registered nurses in the NSGEU and 3,600 in the Nova Scotia Nurses Union.

It also covers 2,900 NSGEU health care workers and 800 licensed practical nurses in both unions.

The contracts just ruled on by the arbitrator are effective from November 1, 2000, to Oct. 31, 2003.

It should be noted that bargaining for CUPE long term care workers is expected to get underway later this year as well.

Highlights of Ashley Arbitration (Final Offer Selection)

REGISTERED NURSES

Arbitrator picked the unions offer of 17% wage hike over 3 years.

7% in Year 1, retroactive to Nov. 1; 5% in Years 2 and 3.

LPNs AND OTHER HEALTH CARE WORKERS

Arbitrator picked the governments offer of 7.5% raise over 3 years.

3.5% in Year 1, retroactive to Nov. 1; 2% in Years 2 and 3.

Opeiu 491