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CUPE acute care workers who work in 33 rural hospitals across Nova Scotia have overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year collective agreement with the province’s District Health Authorities (DHAs).

The agreement includes a 7.5 per cent wage increase over the three-year term plus significant improvements to job security language.

The deal was reached early on May 18, 2012. Votes were counted this morning following a week of onsite ratification meetings held in various workplaces throughout the province.

“We are very pleased with the outcome”, says Karen MacKenzie, chair of the acute care bargaining committee. “This was a long process but we have achieved a very good agreement for the workers we represent in acute care facilities throughout Nova Scotia.”

CUPE’s Acute Care Chief Negotiator Wayne Thomas says, “This agreement with the DHAs undoubtedly shows that a free collective bargaining process is very much alive and well in our province.”

CUPE represents over 3,500 acute care workers in eight DHAs outside of the capital district including dietary, housekeeping, trades, LPNs, lab services, psychologists and clerical staff.