This Just In From Nova Scotia

  1. The Nova Scotia government has just announced that they have scrapped Bill 68, the bill with which they were attempting to deny health care workers the right to strike and the right to arbitration. The nurses and other health care workers had threatened a mass resignation to get around the new law. They set a goal of 75% participation, and earlier today, they achieved that, with nurses and others signing resignation letters which would have been effective two weeks hence. The threat worked!! The idea developed from a statement made in the media by one very fed-up nurse who said, "Okay, fine. I'll just quit. I can go anywhere and have a job the minute I walk through the door." The province was scramblng over the last couple of days trying to arrange transfers to hospitals in other provinces and some eastern seaboard states. When it became obvious that no one else had the room or the desire to take these patients, they had to cave in. Hooray! Maybe some of ther rest of us could take a page out of their book and plan our own resignation campaign...
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   Jenny P
    Way to go Nova Scotia!!!!! This same technic was used back in the 1950's here in Minnesota by RNs who were fed up with the way nurses were treated here! It was effective then; and it's great to know that it is still effective today! I hope you Neighbors to the North can now sit down with those in power and get some of the things you need-- like safe staffing; decent wages; getting rid of mandatory overtime; etc. Good luck to you!!!!
  4. by   natalie
    Congratulations to our Canadian sisters!


    http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Con...l=968350116467

    N.S. agrees to arbitration
    Decision averts walkout by nurses
    Michael Tutton
    CANADIAN PRESS
    HALIFAX - Faced with a threatened mass resignation by health workers, the Nova Scotia government backed down yesterday and agreed to take the labour dispute to a form of binding arbitration.

    Premier John Hamm said yesterday the province and unions representing 9,000 health-care workers will be allowed to take new offers to an independent third party, who will impose either the unions' or government's contract terms.

    The Tory premier said during a news conference that the process would replace Bill 68, recent legislation that stripped many health-care workers of their right to strike and prompted threats of mass resignations among nurses.

    The political pressure cooker has been building steadily since last Thursday, when nurses and other health workers, who do jobs ranging from medical lab technology to psychology, threatened a campaign of mass resignations that would have crippled the system.

    Yesterday morning, the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union revealed 1,450 nurses had been prepared to quit their jobs.

    The province called union and management members to the table as the union prepared to hand in the resignation forms.

    Joan Jessome, president of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union, stood before cheering members and said: ``Today we're celebrating a victory, but it took three weeks of turmoil.''

    In other communities, 4,400 nurses represented by the Nova Scotia Nurses Union were set to go on strike July 13.

    Heather Henderson

    President, Nova Scotia Nurses Union

    Heather Henderson, president of the nurses' union, said that process is now on hold, but cautioned that arbitration didn't mean nurses would get everything they want.

    ``What we have today is a beginning. You need to understand it's not an agreement,'' she said.

    Hamm's announcement amounted to an about-face for the Tory premier. Just a week ago, here had denounced binding arbitration as being too costly.

    But yesterday, as Hamm sat before dozens of nurses and other health workers in Province House's historic red room, a news release was passed out saying arbitration would solve the dispute ``without borrowing money.''

    Jessome wouldn't speculate on whether her original goal of achieving wage settlements for nurses of 20 per cent over three years will be reached.

    The province has offered 10.5 per cent over the same period.

    Other health-care workers were looking for an increase of 9 per cent, plus cost-of-living increases over three years.

    The government had offered less -- six per cent for two years.

    Jessome predicted her team could field a ``credible offer'' that the arbitrator would have to seriously consider.
  5. by   natalie
    wildtime,

    The Canadian nurses are unionized and they are federal employees. The government denied them the right to strike and binding arbitration.
  6. by   -jt
    <<N.S. agrees to arbitration
    Decision averts walkout by nurses
    Michael Tutton
    CANADIAN PRESS
    HALIFAX - Faced with a threatened mass resignation by health workers, the Nova Scotia government backed down yesterday and agreed to take the labour dispute to a form of binding arbitration. >>


    SEE????????? Thats what unity is all about!!! Congratulations to you & your union brother & sisters for sticking together & claiming the power that is yours!! You made your country blink & youve shown this country's nurses what it means to stand together. This would never happen here - not even for 3 days. Too many of our nurses are too busy flying all over the nation to jump over us & work in our place when we threaten to walk out & too many nurses are too busy condemning us for being so "unprofessional" as to be unionized, "blue collar" & "not thinking about the pts". In our country, scab nursing is a growing industry. In your country there is no such thing as a scab nurse. Our nurses have a long long long long way to go before they have the unified mentality & outlook of your nurses & before something like this can happen here.

    But its so uplifting & encouraging to read about so many standing together & having the results that you did. Maybe now nurses in this country will start to believe us when we talk about being organized & unified. SMOOCH!!!
  7. by   -jt
    <This could be done here in the U.S. at any and all institutions >


    in what century??

    Those Canadian nurses believe in unity. American nurses do not. American nurses believe in whatever they can get for themselves & the hell with everybody else. American nurses believe in rationalizing their DISunity.
    Case in point - While Canadian nurses had 75% of their nurses ready to resign from their jobs together for their rights, THIS is the kind of nurse mentality we have to deal with:

    (Borrowed from another board)

    <have been hearing alot about offers in various cities from <hospital that are paying large sums of $$$ to hire nurses as <replacements while the staff is on strike. while i totally <understand why nurses strike, this also creates an opportunity <for others to make $$$$$$ and to care for the patients who i <am sure suffer from the lack of quality care. if anyone knows of <a phone # to call to inquire about these types of temporary
    <jobs, please reply!!!!! and if anyone has done this, was it worth <the $$$$$$$$$$ thanks!! >>>>>>>>>

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    sighhhhhhhhh............
    "Someday, Alice......."
  8. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Originally posted by natalie
    wildtime,

    The Canadian nurses ... are federal employees...

    This isn't exactly true. We are employed by the hospitals in which we work, or by a regional health authority; their purse strings are controlled by the province. The federal government has very little input into the day-to-day function of health care in Canada, other than to invoke the principles of Canadian Health Act. Federal funding for health care has decreased to the point where the provinces are saying, "You're not paying for it anymore, so we'll decide."
  9. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Originally posted by -jt

    In your country there is no such thing as a scab nurse.
    Quite true, because there just aren't enough of us for any of us to be scabs!!! That's why we're importing nurses from the Philippines.
  10. by   fergus51
    It's impossible to have scab nurses when nurses have to be in the union to work in the province.
  11. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Originally posted by fergus51
    It's impossible to have scab nurses when nurses have to be in the union to work in the province.
    That would be true... if it were true. Trust me, there are a lot of non-unionized nurses in Manitoba. Most of them work in personal care homes and for agencies. Some of the agencies here are now paying more than the unionized rate for hospital staff relief shifts, as I found out today... up to $6 an hour more... which means they are charging the hospital at least $10 more than they would have to pay us (part timers anyway). So I guess we do have scabs, sort of.
  12. by   darby
    Originally posted by janfrn
    The Nova Scotia government has just announced that they have scrapped Bill 68, the bill with which they were attempting to deny health care workers the right to strike and the right to arbitration. The nurses and other health care workers had threatened a mass resignation to get around the new law. They set a goal of 75% participation, and earlier today, they achieved that, with nurses and others signing resignation letters which would have been effective two weeks hence. The threat worked!! The idea developed from a statement made in the media by one very fed-up nurse who said, "Okay, fine. I'll just quit. I can go anywhere and have a job the minute I walk through the door." The province was scramblng over the last couple of days trying to arrange transfers to hospitals in other provinces and some eastern seaboard states. When it became obvious that no one else had the room or the desire to take these patients, they had to cave in. Hooray! Maybe some of ther rest of us could take a page out of their book and plan our own resignation campaign...
    congraulations i have said the same for years here in the good old usa,my heart goes out to you,long live the nurses of NOVA SCOTIA.Darby....
  13. by   natalie
    wildtime, your quote:

    "They had no sure way of knowing that they would have only been among 5 or 10% of those actually going through with it. They did not have a union rep approaching anyone after a safe majority vote saying that they would not accept the conditions offered. These individual nurses took a personal stance and went directly to their employers. "

    Wrong. The union president handed in these resignations only after receiving 75% from it's members. This was a union-coordinated revolt. UNION SOLIDARITY, period.
  14. by   voskamp
    congrats Nova Scotia! That is good news for the Nova Scotia Health Care. Recently there where strikes in my country (the netherlands) For better wages and work circumstances in the hospitals. Hospitals througout the whole country united in a marathon strike. Only one hospital told the nurses that when they participated in the strikes, they would be cut on there wages. Surrounding hospitals imediatly replied by advertising that they had plenty jobs for nurses and didnt cut wages during strikes. That hospital lost many good nurses!

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