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(Halifax) – A coalition of health care unions representing some 32,000 nurses and health care workers in Nova Scotia is applauding today’s announcement from Liberal Leader Stephen MacNeil that his party won’t be supporting a ban on health care strikes.

Coalition spokesperson Rick Clarke says, “We are very pleased that the Liberals have seen through this clearly political move by the MacDonald government.  They know as well as we do, that such a ban would make health shortages worse in our province, not better.”

Says Clarke, “Nurses and health care workers in Nova Scotia are saying they do not want their bargaining rights taken away.  They want the real issues in health care dealt with, including things like shortages, wait times, ER closures and mental health issues.

We also understand that both parties agree with us that essential services legislation is not going to solve the real problems in health care,” says Clarke.

On a related front, health care employers waded into the debate today with the NSAHO saying it supports the government’s planned legislation.

Says Clarke, “The NSAHO is a bargaining agent of the government.  This legislation would give them a clear upper hand in bargaining, by taking away the only power that health care workers have.
“The bottom line,” says Clarke, “is who are you going to believe - the health care workers that you entrust with your health and well being or the employers?”

The premier has simply not thought this legislation through. It will give employers a clear advantage in bargaining and will have a serious negative impact on our ability to recruit and retain people and will mean shortages will get worse and wait times will get longer,” he says.

To find out more about this issue visit www.dontmakeshortagesworse.ca.

For information: 

Rick Clarke at (902) 454-6735; Janet Hazelton, NSNU, (902) 456-2084; Shauna Wilcox, CAW,
(902) 539-9024; Gerard Higgins, SEIU, (902) 455-1095; Joan Jessome, NSGEU, (902)471-4566; Danny Cavanagh, CUPE, (902) 957-0822; Dwayne Fitzgerald, IUOE (902) 539 5438, Fred Furlong, CUPW, (902) 454-5812.