HALIFAX, Nova Scotia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The union representing 1800+ school support staff in HRM says government’s latest proposal may be a Trojan Horse.
“Government has provided us with no evidence that converting members from salaried to hourly employees won’t have a significant negative impact on our already bargained-for pensions and benefits,” said CUPE 5047 President Chris Melanson. “We’ll certainly analyze the proposal, but our members gave us a mandate to make meaningful improvements to their wages, not to re-arrange the money they’re already paid.”
“Premier Houston is trying to undermine our unity and power so that he can bully us into submission," said Melanson. “Leaking correspondence with union officials is a standard employer intimidation tactic, and just one of many Tim Houston’s government has used throughout this round of negotiations.”
Melanson says the bargaining committee proposed significant permanent wage increases at the outset of this round, because members wages are now worth less than they were ten years ago. “In 2011, the highest EPA salary possible was $32,691.22. That same person’s annual earnings are now worth $30,091.96 in 2011 dollars. This has to be rectified.”
“Tim Houston is showing us that he and his government have no respect for school support workers or for the collective bargaining process,” said Melanson. “What we’re seeing from government right now is not good faith bargaining – it’s the opposite.”