Conciliation talks between NSGEU Local 31, representing the 240 Victoria Order of Nurses home support workers in Kings-Annapolis County, have broken off.
Talks have also halted for NSGEU Local 40 (Home Support, VON Tri-County); NSGEU Local 35 (VON Colchester & East Hants); and NSGEU Local 85 (VON Pictou).
All four NSGEU VON Locals were negotiating with the employer at once. Talks broke off at 4:15 p.m. on Feb. 10.
“The bargaining committees for the locals could not recommend an agreement that did not contain parity with other workers who do the same job and share the same qualifications but work in a hospital setting,” says Joan Jessome, president of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union. “They certainly deserve the same hourly wage their counterparts receive.”
There is an emergency meeting scheduled for each of the locals which will take place on Feb. 11 from 7-9 p.m. The members of each local will be hearing the details of the employer’s offer and voting on whether to accept or reject it. If it is rejected, the conciliator will file their report, which will trigger a 14-day countdown to a strike.
NSGEU Local 34, home support workers at Northwood in Halifax, voted 97 per cent in favour of rejecting the employer’s offer at an emergency meeting on Sunday.
There are approximately 240 members of NSGEU Local 31 (VON Kings-Annapolis County); 38 members of Local 40 (Home Support, VON Tri-County); 295 members of Local 35 (VON Colchester & East Hants); and 100 members of Local 85 (VON Pictou).
Strike votes are being held for other NSGEU home support locals in Antigonish and Cape Breton over the next few days with the same outstanding issue of parity with workers who do the same job in a hospital setting.