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CUPE set to defend its right to bargain pensions and benefits at the Labour Relations Board

Jul 27, 2006 04:04 PM
 

HALIFAX – CUPE’s Acute Care bargaining team returns to the Labour Relations Board to defend its right to negotiate pensions and benefits on July 31, Aug 1 and 2.

CUPE’s Acute Care bargaining team has refused to take pensions and benefits off the table and has been charged with bargaining in ‘bad faith’ by the eight District Health Authority Employers.

CUPE National Rep Wayne Thomas says, “The employers are hoping the Labour Board gets them off the hook. These plans apply to over 20,000 employees in NS. 85% of these workers are CUPE, CAW, NSGEU, NSNU and SEIU members. It is inconceivable that this large section of workers is out of reach of these basic employment rights.“

CUPE has long argued that pensions be understood as deferred wages. These ‘deferred wages’ should be subject to negotiation at the table as ‘regular’ wages are. CUPE has been a leader in bargaining improvements to workers’ pensions and in pressing for worker control of pension funds.

This is an important hearing for all the unions and their 20,000 health care members in Nova Scotia. Four other unions, the CAW, the NSGEU and NSNU, and the SEIU have applied for, and after a preliminary hearing, have been granted intervener status. “This decision will set a precedent in Nova Scotia for all of the Health Care Unions who have members in the NSAHO Plans,” says CUPE National Rep. Wayne Thomas.

“We are all together in this,” says Thomas. All the unions involved have signed a joint benefit and pension proposal that supports CUPE’s position on this issue.

CUPE has the right to negotiate pensions and benefits in many other provinces.

For information:

Wayne Thomas
CUPE National Rep.
(902) 759-1057

Deedee Slye
CUPE Communications Rep
(902) 499-3222