NDP request Liberals avoid a nurses strike by the appointment of an Industrial Inquiry Commission

April 2, 2014

NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald has sent a letter to Premier Stephen McNeil requesting his Minister of Labour appoint an industrial inquiry commission. The commission would examine the dispute between the Capital District Health Authority and the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU) regarding nurse staffing levels and patient safety.

Read the letter here: https://classic.nsndp.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Inquiry-Into-Patient-Safety.pdf

As part of the request the NDP are asking all sides to immediately accept a 90-day cooling off period, during which time the government would suspend passage of Bill 37, and the NSGEU and the Capital District Health Authority would agree to no strike or lock-out.

“All parties want to avoid a strike, but at the same time it’s important, nurses’ concerns about patient and workplace safety are addressed,” said NDP Labour Critic Frank Corbett. “This is a reasonable approach that would provide some much needed time to encourage a resolution.”

The three-person commission would be chaired by a neutral labour relations expert along with a representative of the employer and the union. The Minister of Labour can appoint such a commission under Section 73 of the Trade Union Act.


“Stephen McNeil says he is worried about patient safety and claims to support collective bargaining rights, but his current approach places both at risk,” said Corbett. “If he appoints this commission, Nova Scotians can wake up tomorrow knowing their government is working to improve the health care system and that their collective bargaining rights are protected. Ultimately it’s about picking a win-win scenario over a lose-lose situation.”

Corbett added, “If the Premier continues down the same path over the next few hours, whatever happens next, falls squarely on his shoulders.”

MacDonald has requested a response by the time the House sits tonight at 11:30pm.