Unions Protest While Health Authorities Act Fast-tracked
Union protesters are gathered outside the Nova Scotia legislature again today as the Liberal government fast-tracks its controversial Health Authorities Act. Some blocked traffic outside Province House as police moved in quickly and could be seen handcuffing at least one protester and putting him in the back of a police van. The proposed bill will roll nine health authorities into one and streamline collective bargaining by spelling out which union will represent nurses, technologists, administrative and support workers. Union leaders and the opposition have been critical of the government over the move, accusing it of dictating to workers and being undemocratic. However, Health Minister Leo Glavine says other public sector workers don’t get to choose the union that represents them either. Meanwhile, the Opposition Tories say they want the Liberals to split the bill into two parts, one addressing the amalgamation of health boards and the other dealing with the labour provisions. The NDP say they can’t support the Liberal bill. The government has scheduled the legislature to sit until midnight in order to push the bill through second reading.