NDP will stand up for collective bargaining rights of close to 40,000 Nova Scotians

April 1, 2014

The NDP will not support Liberal legislation that takes away the collective bargaining rights of close to 40,000 Nova Scotians, says leader Maureen MacDonald.

“Stephen McNeil has botched negotiations with the nurses since the beginning,” said MacDonald. “This misguided legislation will make what was already a difficult situation much worse.”

MacDonald said the NDP will take steps to ensure the bill receives a fair and thorough debate in the Legislature. She also expressed deep concern that the legislation targets not only nurses but the entire healthcare sector, along with community services employees such as group home and residential care workers.

“Workers in this province have fought long and hard to earn their collective bargaining rights,” said MacDonald. “If Stephen McNeil thinks he can sweep away those rights in an evening he is sorely mistaken.”

She added, “If Stephen McNeil thought this was an emergency situation he could have introduced legislation last week. It’s pretty clear he was attempting to avoid embarrassment over the weekend at the Liberal AGM, but even that failed.”

MacDonald says the bill amounts to nothing more than Stephen McNeil admitting he doesn’t understand how collective bargaining works. She says the impact will be felt for years to come.

“This legislation will have a demoralizing effect on everyone working in our healthcare sector, from one end of Nova Scotia to the other,” said MacDonald. “I have no doubt we will see nurses leave the province as a result of this bad Liberal bill.”