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CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh says, “Today’s ruling from Arbitrator James Dorsey is devastating for thousands of hard-working, proud CUPE members.

“We now know that, through no fault of their own, CUPE members in the Healthcare and Clerical bargaining units have been ripped from their union by this government and given to another union.”

Dorsey has also said the Nursing and Service bargaining units continue to be an outstanding matter. The composition of those units is still not settled.

Says Cavanagh, “Importantly, Dorsey has ruled the Regulation passed by Cabinet to force RNs and LPNs into one union is invalid. He says they must take it back to the entire House of Assembly.

“Premier McNeil has again misled Nova Scotians by telling them that he didn’t need to take the Regulation to the House and could pass it with his Cabinet. Dorsey has told him he was wrong on that.”

Cavanagh says, “With this ruling, CUPE has gone from being the second largest healthcare union in the province – and the voice of acute care workers in rural Nova Scotia – to losing thousands of members in the Healthcare and Clerical sectors and still not even knowing where our members will end up in the other two bargaining units.”

Says Cavanagh, “Sadly, this wasn’t about picking the ‘better’ union; it was purely based on province-wide numbers, with Metro dwarfing rural Nova Scotia.”