Health support unions ratify agreement with Nova Scotia Health, IWK



SaltWire Network


Unions representing more than 3,500 health support workers have ratified an agreement with Nova Scotia Health and the IWK Health Centre, that will see wages for the lowest paid workers hit $20 per hour. The agreement will see a 6.5 per cent wage increase for members overall, with an additional dollar increase for those at the lower wage to bring all members to at least $20 per hour. Workers represented by the bargaining committee, composed of Unifor, CUPE and the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union (NSGEU), include employees with environmental services, dietary and food services, porters, electricians, plumbers, laundry services, protection services and power engineers. Jennifer Murray, Unifor Atlantic regional director, said the bargaining committee pushed to see the lowest wages for employees hit the $20 per hour mark. “We’re proud of this agreement and what it will mean to the thousands of workers who keep our hospitals operational, clean, and safe,” said Murray in a release. Talks between the bargaining unit, Nova Scotia Health and the IWK reached an impasse in May, and the unions filed for conciliation. A tentative agreement was reached through mediation on Aug. 16. “We are hopeful this agreement will help health support workers feel respected for their essential contributions to the health-care system in our province,” said Sandra Mullen, president of NSGEU. “Pushing for a living wage for all workers is necessary and we continue to expect to set respectful wages across health-care teams.”