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(Halifax) – The four largest health care unions in Nova Scotia today filed grievances against their employers in acute care, long term care and community services who belong to the NSAHO pension plan. The grievances argue that the terms of their members’ contracts were changed when employers unilaterally used pension fund surpluses for their own benefit.

CUPE, NSNU, NSGEU and CAW took the action in unison to let employers and the NSAHO know that they will be using every means at their disposal to protect their members’ pension plan funds.

The four unions had previously put the province on notice that they will be bargaining the issues of pensions and health benefits jointly in this round. They have recently been joined by SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, in their fight for pension fairness.

This is the first time the five unions have ever teamed up on a bargaining issue.

Use of the pension plan surplus is a major bone of contention with the unions. The NSAHO’s own numbers show that since 1998 health care employers across the province have used tens of millions of dollars of the plan surplus to make their own contributions to the plan.

Contact information:

Wayne Thomas, CUPE, Acute Care Co-ordinator, 759-1057

Joan Jessome, President, NSGEU, 471-4566

Janet Hazelton, President, NSNU, 456-2084

Victor Tomiczek„ National Rep., CAW, 562-3857

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