Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

October 28, 2014 15:24 ET

NS government's 'Shared Services' Act more heavy-handedness on labour relations front-CUPE

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - Oct. 28, 2014) - In what is being described as yet another heavy-handed move by the McNeil Liberal government, Internal Services Minister Labi Kousoulis has introduced a Shared Services Act that will give him unprecedented new powers to move workers around from 20-plus provincial departments and agencies.

The Act will also apply to five Crown Corporations, 10 District Health Authorities and eight school boards and allow the provincial government to streamline support, such as procurement, information technology, telecommunications and some construction projects into its new Internal Services Department.

CUPE Acute Care Co-ordinator Wayne Thomas says, "Section 11 of the Act stipulates that the minister may determine who a 'designated employee' is for the purpose of this Act. In other words, he will have absolute power to determine which classifications of employees will get moved from one employer to another, one union to another.

"Meanwhile," says Thomas, "there is virtually no mention in the Act of the labour relations impact this Bill will have. Employees who will be affected or transferred by the Act will simply get a tap on the shoulder one day and be told their job is being transferred. They won't find out until after the Act is passed by the Legislature. "

CUPE School Board Co-ordinator Kathy MacLeod says, "We were told in a meeting just yesterday that the changes would affect health care first followed by school boards in 2015. While the Act talks about consulting with stakeholders, a meeting with unions just one day before the Bill was tabled does not amount to consultation. It is an insult to unionized employees whose lives will be upset by this Act.

"With each passing week, we are seeing the rights of unionized employees in Nova Scotia being trampled on in unprecedented new ways by this provincial government," says MacLeod.

At a media briefing today, the minister said they have already moved about 500 positions into Internal Services, and plan to move at least 200 more into the department. He said they also plan to eliminate 'several hundred' positions over the next five or six years through attrition.

Contact Information

  • Wayne Thomas
    CUPE Acute Care Co-ordinator
    (902) 759-1057 (Cell)

    Kathy MacLeod
    CUPE School Board Co-ordinator
    (902) 578-3304 (Cell)

    John McCracken
    CUPE Atlantic Communications Rep
    (902) 880-8057 (Cell)