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More than 7,000 CUPE hospital and school board workers in Nova Scotia have given a big thumbs up to their new contracts.

CUPE Acute Care Co-ordinator Wayne Thomas says the hospital locals across rural Nova Scotia have voted 98% in favour of acceptance of their three-year deal.

Negotiating Committee Chair Karen MacKenzie was very pleased with the result saying, “We took a stand on a matter of principle which was equal pay for work of equal value for hospital workers in rural Nova Scotia.”

Highlights of that deal include:

  • 2.9% Economic Adjustment (Wage Parity) for all employees effective and retroactive to April 1, 2009.
  • Approx. 6% LPN and 2.1% Health Care Adjustments (for all classifications paid equal to and above the rate of Lab Tech and Radiology Tech) effective and retroactive to September 1, 2009.
  • 1% adjustment to all rates effective and retroactive to November 1, 2009.
  • 1% adjustment to all rates effective November 1, 2010.
  • Wage Parity (reclassifications and any bargained classification adjustments) will now be maintained under our Collective Agreement.

Meanwhile ratification votes for school board locals ranged from 88% to 96%.

CUPE School Board Co-ordinator Kathy MacLeod says the five-year deal runs from April 1, 2007 to April 1, 2011. Here are the wage highlights:

  • 2.9% wage increase retroactive to April 1, 2007
  • 2.9% wage increase retroactive to April 1, 2008
  • 2.9% wage increase retroactive to April 1, 2009
  • 1% wage increase, April 1, 2010
  • 1% wage increase, April 1, 2011

Wilfridine Crowdis, Chair of the Nova Scotia School Board Council of Unions, says, “We achieved our goal which was to receive the same increases that teachers and other workers in our sector received. As we said in our public campaign, this was all about fairness – nothing more, nothing less.”

CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh had nothing but praise for the two groups. “This round of bargaining was a tough first test for us with the new NDP government. I want to commend our members for taking such a strong stand and giving their negotiating committees very strong strike mandates.

We were quite successful in our strike-averting campaign in winning public support for our issues and that made the difference when it came down to crunch time in bargaining,” says Cavanagh.