Unions recommend process to help resolve issues in Nova Scotia health bargaining

A council of Nova Scotia health-care unions is recommending its members ratify a proposed process to resolve a protracted contract dispute with the province's health authority and the IWK Health Centre.

In a news release Tuesday, the council said the decision follows a vote on Monday by all bargaining committee members to recommend ratification of a proposed mediation-arbitration process.

Meanwhile, the province says the sides have reached an agreement to create the process in order to resolve any outstanding issues following collective bargaining, and have also agreed to suspend the right to strike or lock out during this round of bargaining.

The council says if ratified over the coming weeks, the process will conclude collective agreements for all four bargaining committees in health care, nursing, support services, and administrative professionals.

The Council of Unions includes the Nova Scotia Council of Health Care Unions, Nova Scotia Council of Nursing Unions, Nova Scotia Council of Health Administrative Professional Unions and the Nova Scotia Council of Health Support Unions.

Union officials say the council won't comment publicly until the membership has an opportunity to see and vote on the proposal.