One lone Tory, Cecil ODonnell of Shelburne, had the guts to vote against what all but this government considers to be a fundamentally bad piece of legislation.
CUPE health care workers have been front and centre in the fight against Bill 68 to date. While the bill has been designed specifically to deal with labour disputes currently underway with NSGEU and NSNU (Nurses Union), CUPE decided early on that we would be taking a leadership role in this important fight. A catch-all section in the bill extends its sanctions to all hospital workers.
While we may have lost round one of this battle, the war is far from over. We are awaiting word from NSGEU whose members are currently out on illegal strike and defying Bill 68 - as to what their immediate plans are and how we can support those plans. The Board of Directors of the NSNU has, to date, said it will not participate in any illegal activity.
And as if this government hasnt done enough damage already, Premier Hamm announced this week hed like to see the bill extended to cover other workers.
We are in discussion with other unions and the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour as to where we go from here, and how (not if) we continue to fight this bill.
To that end, and in conjunction with CUPE Nova Scotia, we will be calling an
All Presidents meeting within the next two to three weeks to map out CUPEs strategy to continue the fight against this bill.
We are also in the process of putting together an Adopt an MLA campaign, which would see our locals taking on Tory MLAs in their ridings throughout the summer. Our plan is to be in their faces at every picnic, barbecue and ribbon cutting they go to.
Come the fall, when CUPE hospitals are expected to be in bargaining, we hope to have mobilized all of our locals in every sector so we can escalate our actions against Bill 68 and the Hamm government