Update on Health Care Bargaining Units
Dear brother and sisters:
I want to provide you an update on our health care bargaining units.
The new provincial Conservative government has committed to balancing the budget within eight years and has now begun discussions with all public-sector unions to find cost savings that will ultimately help maintain core services. From our point of view, the meetings so far appear one-sided with one goal in mind: to implement legislation which could adversely affect collectively bargained wages and benefits.
At our last meeting, the unions provided government with a couple of fiscal scenarios that would allow a balanced budget without service disruption or massive job-cuts.
The government’s representatives (lawmakers and bureaucrats) are not willing to confirm they are even open to any idea other than imposing legislation, which – according to a letter from the Province to us – could include mandated wage settlement amounts, reduced work weeks and pension modifications.
While nothing is confirmed as discussions continue, the latest conversation concerns us greatly as does the fact that negotiations are taking place away from the bargaining table.
This move is unfair and undemocratic, and undermines the fact that both parties are mature and sophisticated enough to deal with issues responsibly.
We will continue to update you as the discussion progresses, but please know that we will fight hard for all our members.