Administrative Professionals, represented by CUPE, NSGEU, and Unifor under the Council of Health Administrative Unions, voted strongly in favour of strike action following their rejection of a tentative agreement in April, with 81.5% of those who voted authorizing a strike.

The three unions represent approximately 5000 members from all hospital sites province-wide working as clerks in all departments, equipment operators, administrative assistants, transcriptionists, and health record technicians, among others. These members are highly skilled as, in order to fill these positions, many must complete pre-application tests, obtain specific computer training, or come to the Health Authority holding a post-secondary degree.

“With the rejection of the previous offer and this strike vote, the membership has said clearly that they’re willing to fight for what they deserve,” said Sandra Mullen, President of the NSGEU. “They are looking to maintain the relativity of the bargaining units, which has fallen away over the last round of collective bargaining, and achieve recruitment and retention bonuses that recognize many members have over 25 years of service.”

In their previous offer to our members, the government offered seniority protection for casuals on maternity leave, new language on gender and discrimination, and enhanced leave of absence language, but did not budge on monetary issues brought forward by the bargaining team.

“There isn’t a single member of the public that goes to the hospital in Nova Scotia and does not interact with one of these members. They’re the clerk checking you in for your appointment, the ward clerk keeping the patient floors running smoothly, and the technician updating your health records, among so many others. Without them, hospitals don’t run,” said Bev Strachan, co-chair of the bargaining team. “It’s time for the government to bring forward a deal that acknowledges the extent and importance of the work these members do.”