News Release Archive

  Human Resources Minister Jay Abbass today responded to an
  announcement by the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union
  that it had signed a memorandum of agreement with the Queen
  Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax.
  The Minister said that he was pleased,"the agreement gives
  employees the reassurances their union sought from their new
  employer." He added this agreement repeats the guarantees
  under the act to create the QEII Health Sciences Centre,
  reaffirming that the terms and conditions of their
  collective agreements will be protected.
  "The purpose of this act is to give the employee and the
  employer the ability to sit down together and talk. That's
  what they've done, they've dealt with the issues that only
  an employer and its employees should deal with. The act sets
  the framework that allows these discussions to take place,"
  said Mr. Abbass.
  He noted the union had raised concerns about the role of the
  Labour Relations Board. He pointed out the long, successful
  history the board has had for more than 20 years in
  resolving labour issues in the province. In addition, both
  union and management have representatives who sit on the
  board and can represent their concerns. Among the current
  union board members is a representative from the NSGEU. 
  The normal practice is for the board to resolve those issues
  that cannot be successfully resolved through negotiations
  between the employee and the employer.
  "We've already seen in the QEII example that the employer
  and the employee can sit down and talk to resolve issues on
  their own.  That sets a good precedent, building on the
  framework put in place by the act," the Minister added.
  The Minister reaffirmed that legitimate concerns about the
  act could be addressed at the Law Amendments Committee
  stage. The act could enter that stage as early as this week.
  He also added that the government would not negotiate with
  the NSGEU while there was still a threat of an illegal
  strike, and further discussions regarding changes in the act
  could take place at the Law Amendments Committee.
  Contact: Norma MacIsaac 902-424-5427
  jlw                                    Dec. 4, 1995