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Halifax, NS – The union representing thousands of nursing home workers in Nova Scotia says the province’s largest private nursing home operator is attempting to ratchet down working conditions in the sector with a ‘two-tier’ system of benefits.

CUPE long term care coordinator Kelly Murray said, “Contract talks to reach a first collective agreement at two new Shannex nursing homes have reached an impasse as a result.”

Both Parkland at the Lakes which employs some 80 nursing home workers in Dartmouth and Bissett Court which employs another 55 workers in Cole Harbour are insisting on treating employees differently by attempting to negotiate two different sets of benefits for employees working in the facilities,” Murray added.

As a result, CUPE has applied for the services of a conciliation officer to assist the parties in arriving at a settlement.  But I can state categorically that as the largest union in the country with over 600,000 members, we will never agree to a system that sees one group of workers treated differently than another group of workers in the same workplace,” said the veteran union negotiator.
CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh said, “We represent workers at 37 facilities in the province and have taken great pride in the fact that we’ve negotiated equal benefits for all of its members. Benefits such as a defined benefit pension plan so that workers can retire with security and dignity, shift and weekend premiums, and health plans in which all employees can participate.”
“These hard-working employees provide an invaluable service to the community and CUPE will not allow these for profit employers to increase their profits on the backs of their employees. Our hope is that the provincial government will appoint an officer as soon as possible so the two parties can conclude a fair collective agreement with equal benefits for these workers,” said Cavanagh.

For more information, contact: 

Kelly Murray      
CUPE LTC Co-ordinator     
Tel: (902) 455-4180

Danny Cavanagh
CUPE Nova Scotia President
Tel: (902) 957-0822

John McCracken
CUPE Communications
Tel: (902) 455-4180