Mass resignations by Halifax nurses averted

Government agrees to take the case to arbitration
||Last Updated: 04/08/2003

The Nova Scotia government has averted a situation that would likely have crippled its health system.

Seventy-five per cent of the nurses who work at Halifax's largest hospital were threatening to quit unless the government agreed to a new contract.

Premier John Hamm has announced that contracts for more than 9,000 nurses and health-care workers will be set by an adjudicator.

The move was originally seen as a bargaining tactic, another salvo in a week-long series of job actions by health-care workers.

But the union says it did have signed resignations from more than 1,450 nurses, and was going to submit them to the Capital District Health Authority unless a contract offer was made.

The nurses are upset about conditions, wages and recent legislation by the government that took away their right to strike.

About 700 health-care workers, including physiotherapists, radiologists and lab technicians, had also threatened to resign.

Both groups of workers belong to the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union.

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