Today, after a long, laboured process James Dorsey was suppose to deliver a decision on where Nova Scotian nurses, support and clerical staff would go in the new health care bargaining structure. I agree with the government that 4 bargaining units for health care in our province makes sense. Bargaining takes time, and people power so to reduce the bargaining units would save time and hopefully allow for a more harmonious negotiating process. Our health care system is in crisis because of how the changes have been attempted to be levied by our present government.
Promptly after Dorsey’s ruling or lack thereof, Minister Glavine held a press conference to communicate the government’s displeasure with the lack of work completed by Dorsey. Also, the minister announced that the government will introduce legislation to achieve via reducing the number of bargaining units. However, I am concerned for the simple fact that we are a mere 6 weeks away from the mergers of the present health authorities into one health authority. Six weeks and we have no formal structure for how workers will be represented in the new health authority set-up.
The chaos that this changed, well needed, has caused is inexcusable. Our provincial health care system is something that all Nova Scotian’s depend on and treasure. With the rhetoric and posturing on both sides of this equation it is leading to instability in our health care system. Health care staff and that much more stressed because of uncertainty. Employer and union leadership continue to debate and posture in local media, and exchange shots and jabs. Minister Glavine and Union leadership need to take a step back, and act in both the best interests of health care workers and patients.
Health care is a priority for all Nova Scotians, and as our population continues to age that priority ranking will only grown. Minister Glavine, should delay the merger of the provincial health authorities until the bargaining unit structure is in place. Minister let’s put all Nova Scotians first and go back to the table with the unions to come to an agreement with a bargaining unit model. Four units make sense, but all this chaos and stress does not.