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(Halifax) – A coalition of the province’s health care unions will use Labour Day to launch a public information campaign aimed at informing Nova Scotians about impending labour legislation.

The coalition was formed earlier this year when Premier MacDonald announced plans to introduce legislation in the fall sitting of the Legislature designed to take away the right to strike from some 32,000 health care workers.

The coalition consists of seven unions, including the NSGEU (Nova Scotia Government Employees Union), CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees), NSNU (Nova Scotia Nurses Union), CAW (Canadian Auto Workers Union), IUOE (International Union of Operating Engineers), SEIU (Service Employees International Union) and CUPW (Canadian Union of Postal Workers).

Nova Scotia Federation of Labour President Rick Clarke says, “Nova Scotians do not see this as any kind of priority right now.  They want the provincial government to address the real problems in health care, which are unacceptable wait times for patients and recruitment and retention of nurses, technologists and other health care workers.  

“The people of this province understand that stripping bargaining rights away from these workers is not going to solve any of those problems – in fact, it will only make them worse,” says Clarke.

“It’s pretty clear,” says Clarke, “that Rodney has not thought this through.”

The public campaign will include a Labour Day website launch at www.dontmakehealthshortagesworse.ca where members of the public can send a message to the premier on this issue, as well as an ad campaign later this month, a major rally in the weeks ahead, leaflets, buttons, banners and so on.

(ATTENTION ASSIGNMENT/PHOTO EDITORS:  A number of health care coalition leaders will be in attendance at September 3 Labour Day events:

  • Rick Clarke (NSFL) and Joan Jessome (NSGEU) will be in Halifax – 10:30 am at the South Commons.
  • Danny Cavanagh (CUPE) and Janet Hazelton (NSNU) will be in New Glasgow – 1:00 pm at Steel Town Park in Trenton.  
  • Shauna Wilcox (CAW) and Dwayne Fitzgerald (IUOE) will be in Sydney – 12:00 noon at the Sydney Boardwalk.


 For information: 

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