Monday, 16 December 2019

NSGEU news release on this morning’s announcement that QEII redevelopment, which include the eventual decommissioning of part of the Victoria General site and the construction of five new health care buildings in the Halifax area, will be using a P3 model. “This government has chosen the most expensive way to get this project done,” said NSGEU President Jason MacLean.

The provincial government is engaged in an orchestrated effort to move education jobs out of the union sphere. 1000 school principals, 200 or more school psychologists and speech and language pathologists, social workers and new positions in the expanding Schools Plus program will no longer be unionized. “While this may be a less sensational way of weakening the unions than, say, imposing wage freezes and concessions that force teachers and other education workers out onto the picket line, it poses no less a threat to their very existence,” writes John McCracken.

A private for-profit blood supply system is not welcome in Nova Scotia, and the provincial government should enact legislation as soon as possible to ensure private companies do not get to set up shop here. That was the main message at this morning’s press conference organized by unions, the Nova Scotia Health Coalition and Bloodwatch, an organization that advocates for a safe, voluntary, public blood system in Canada.

Former child protection social worker Trish McCourt about high caseloads, lack of training in what can be a dangerous job, burnout, stress and other perils of the job. “Yes, child protection is challenging work. Yes, it can be dangerous, and yes, it often feels thankless. But the real hardships come from the lack of empathy, support and value that is communicated by the employer – the department of Community Services, province of Nova Scotia.”

The new collective agreement for provincial civil servants decided by an Arbitration Board is not the victory the labour movement claims it is, writes Larry Haiven. At the end of the contract workers will be earning less than they are now, how much less will depend on the inflation rate. And that’s not taking into account the freezing (and removal for new employees) of the “long-service award.