Talks to avert strike by nurses in Halifax area reach an impasse

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HALIFAX – The union representing nurses in the Halifax area says talks with the Capital District Health Authority with a mediator have reached an impasse.

Talks to avert strike by nurses in Halifax area reach an impasse

Joan Jessome, the president of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union, tweeted Sunday night that mediation had not been able to reach an agreement between the two sides.

Mediation talks started Friday between Nova Scotia’s largest health authority and the union representing about 2,400 registered nurses.

Earlier in the negotiations, the union said the two sides couldn’t agree on the issue of nurse-to-patient ratios, something the union says would improve patient safety.

Last week, the health authority said health services would begin to be disrupted as the April 3 strike date draws closer.

The nurses primarily work at four places in the Halifax area: the QEII Health Sciences Centre, Nova Scotia Hospital, East Coast Forensic Hospital and Public Health Services.

The health authority has said that Local 97 of the government employees union has agreed to maintain full staffing levels for certain services, including the QEII emergency department, dialysis unit, Nova Scotia Cancer Centre, veterans services and intensive care units.

Talks with the mediator started a day after Capital Health said it would take legal action if its nurses opt for mass resignations in the event they are legislated back to work by the provincial government.

Nova Scotia Premier McNeil has said back-to-work legislation is a possibility if there is a strike.

Earlier this month, 420 striking home-care workers were ordered back to work after McNeil’s government passed essential service legislation.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Government, General Employees Union, QEII Health Sciences Centre Nova Scotia Hospital East Coast Forensic Hospital Public Health Services Nova Scotia Cancer Centre Capital Health

Geographic location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

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