Health-care work­ers get wage in­crease

Union says agree­ment means 50-cent-per-hour raise on shift premium rates over 3 years

StarMetro Halifax - - HALIFAX - Alex Cooke FOR STARMETRO HAL­I­FAX

A me­di­a­tor-ar­bi­tra­tor has wrapped up a new col­lec­tive agree­ment by award­ing in­creased shift pre­mi­ums for

6,500 em­ploy­ees in the health-care bar­gain­ing unit at the Nova Sco­tia Health Au­thor­ity and IWK Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal.

The Nova Sco­tia Gov­ern­ment and Gen­eral Em­ploy­ees Union says Wil­liam Ka­plan has de­cided on a 50-cent-per­hour in­crease over the next three years to the cur­rent hourly premium rate which is added when em­ploy­ees work evenings, overnights or week­ends.

The bump in­cludes an im­me­di­ate 15-cent in­crease, to be fol­lowed by an­other 15cent in­crease on Aug. 1, 2019 and 20 cents on Oct. 31, 2020.

The union says as a re­sult of pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­tion (Bill

148) which set a wage pat­tern for civil ser­vants and health work­ers, the shift pre­mi­ums are one of the few mon­e­tary is­sues that could be ne­go­ti­ated dur­ing the cur­rent round of bar­gain­ing.

Ka­plan’s sup­ple­men­tal award con­cludes the new col­lec­tive agree­ment of the Health Care Bar­gain­ing unit.

The unit rep­re­sents health care providers other than nurses, such as med­i­cal lab tech­nol­o­gists, phys­io­ther­a­pists, Premier Stephen Mcneil said he’s glad a me­di­a­tor reached a deal for 6,500 health-care work­ers.

so­cial work­ers and phar­ma­cists, among oth­ers.

Last week, Ka­plan wrapped up the terms of the new sixyear agree­ment which elim­i­nates the long-ser­vice award re­tire­ment pay­ment.

It in­cludes the leg­is­lated

wage in­crease of 3 per cent over four years, fol­lowed by in­creases of 2 per cent in each of the fi­nal two years.

Ka­plan also re­placed the long-ser­vice award with a new ben­e­fit — the em­ployee re­ten­tion in­cen­tive.

That in­cen­tive will see per­ma­nent em­ploy­ees with 25 years of ser­vice get a 3.5 per cent wage in­crease.

The process has seen 19 sep­a­rate agree­ments re­duced to two agree­ments for this group of em­ploy­ees.

It re­sulted in a col­lec­tive agree­ment that takes ef­fect Oct. 8 and runs from Nov. 1, 2014, to Oct. 31, 2020. WWW.THES­TAR.COM Westjet plans on cut­ting and re­duc­ing flights be­tween Hal­i­fax and New­found­land as part of a larger na­tion­wide route change.

As of Oct. 28, the air­line will be can­celling twice-daily ser­vice be­tween Hal­i­fax and Deer Lake, N.L., a route that has been run­ning since 2015.

They say any guests with book­ings beyond that date will be of­fered re­funds or re­booked with their air­line part­ner, PAL Air­lines.

“We ap­pre­ci­ate and rec­og­nize that this is un­for­tu­nate news for the com­mu­ni­ties af­fected,” Westjet spokes­woman Lau­ren Ste­wart said in an emailed state­ment. Lau­ren Ste­wart, Westjet

“We ap­pre­ci­ate that this is un­for­tu­nate news.”

“Net­work de­ci­sions about routes and fre­quency are based on data, so­phis­ti­cated plan­ning tools, guest feed­back and ul­ti­mately, con­sumer de­mand.”

Westjet will also be re­duc­ing ser­vice be­tween Hal­i­fax and St. John’s from four daily flights to three daily flights, also ef­fec­tive Oct. 28.

As well, flights be­tween Hal­i­fax and Syd­ney will be re­duced from two daily flights to one daily flight.

Ste­wart said there will be se­lect ad­di­tions to their win­ter sched­ule for the hol­i­days, but the planned cuts are de­signed to re­duce ca­pac­ity “to be more in line with con­sumer de­mand.”

At­lantic Canada isn’t the only area see­ing changes: as part of na­tion­wide route ad­just­ments, the com­pany has re­duced their avail­able seat miles — the num­ber of avail­able seats mul­ti­plied by the dis­tance flown — by 6 per cent across the coun­try, Ste­wart said.

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