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An immediate work to rule order has been issued to CUPE acute care workers in Nova Scotia.

The call is in response to the introduction of Bill 68, which takes away the right to strike from 9,000 health care workers across the province, including 3,000 health care workers in 35 hospitals represented by CUPE.

CUPE is urging all of its members not to work overtime, to take their breaks and perform only their regular duties.

Calling it a dark day for labour relations in Nova Scotia, CUPE has condemned Bill 68 as the worst piece of anti-worker legislation this province has ever seen.

CUPEs acute care coordinator Wayne Thomas says, not only will this bill mean the immediate loss of the right to strike for CUPE members, but the government hasnt even replaced it with an impartial process like binding arbitration which is the case in other jurisdictions.

Instead, says Thomas, this government has given itself the ultimate power to determine the outcome of labour dispute in a completely dictatorial fashion.

Bill 68 makes a mockery of collective bargaining, and the labour relations process for acute care workers in Nova Scotia, he says.

By introducing this bill and trying to ram it through the legislature, Health Minister Jamie Muir has demonstrated his absolute disdain for frontline health care workers in Nova Scotia, says Thomas. CUPE will not take this sitting down.

Representatives from across the province will meet Sunday to plan their next move. In addition to the work to rule, CUPE is looking at legal avenues to challenge this legislation.