Nova Scotia Election 2017

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Unifor flags waving with the word Solidarity over the image

Dear Nova Scotia Unifor Locals:

The rumour mill is rampant.

Premier Stephen McNeil is expected to call an election this spring, likely early May after bringing down and passing the budget.

The budget is expected the week of April 25 when the Legislature re-opens.

There are many reasons not to support the McNeil Liberals

Bill 1. Bill 30. Bill 37. Bill 100. Bill 148. And Bill 24 are just a few. These are the seven different pieces of legislation that have attacked unions, collective bargaining and suppressed wages for all Nova Scotians.

For example, Bill 148 tells unions who represent health care and other public sector workers to negotiate wages freezes and concessions or have them imposed on their members.

As union activists and local leaders who negotiate collective agreements, we understand how the economy works. And when governments suppress the wages of its employees it is not merely public sector workers who feel the impact. It has a snowball effect. Many employers in the private sector have also been demanding wage freezes. They figure if it is good enough for the government, it is good for them. When the wages of workers are suppressed, this hurts demand in the economy which in turn hurts wages and jobs. It’s not rocket science.

Hunger and poverty on the rise

A report this week from Feed Nova Scotia noted that between 2015 and 2016, food bank usage and need had climbed a whopping 21% in the province and a staggering 49% in the Halifax region in just one year.

Friends, when your government is focused on balancing its books at any and all costs and takes action to suppress the wages of working Nova Scotians, these are the results.

But the McNeil government is hoping you to forget their terrible legacy and has recently gone on a bit of a spending spree, trying to buy votes weeks before the election - buy your votes with your own money.

But we have news for the government. Our memory is long.

Anti-union, anti-worker government

Sisters and brothers, collective bargaining in the province is broken. No union has been able to negotiate a collective agreement with the government because of the egregious legislation it has implemented.

Teachers had a contract imposed on them, and every other public sector worker - including over 4,500

Unifor members - have been without a contract since October 2014. That’s because he wants to dictate terms rather than negotiate fairly.

Millions taken from nursing homes and long-term care

The McNeil Liberal government has been no friend to unionized workers, nor has it been good for seniors needing long-term care, where funding has been cut by millions despite a promise to improve health care for the people of the province. Our members in long-term care have expressed their worries about the impact the funding cuts are having on the quality of care for seniors and on their working conditions.

The human cost of McNeil’s ‘balanced’ budget

The government hasn’t done anything to help the tens of thousands of Nova Scotian families who still have no family doctor. It has merely balanced the books and caused a lot of hardship and economic damage to do so.

Indeed, this report by Unifor economist Jordan Brennan shows that the McNeil Liberals have also been bad economic managers.

We need to send the McNeil Liberals a very strong message when they go to the polls.

Your vote and the votes of all our members can make a difference. A majority for the McNeil Liberals will mean more hardship and more attacks on the collective bargaining rights of our members.

Don’t give them another chance.

What you can do

Over the coming weeks, Unifor will be stepping up our engagement with our members. For the past six months we have been fighting the cuts to long-term care. You may have heard our radio ads or watched

our Facebook video calling on the government to reverse these cuts. Please share these with your members. 

We ask a simple question: If the McNeil Liberals can’t be trusted to ensure our seniors receive the dignity of care they deserve, what can they be trusted with?

Unifor will be in touch over the coming days about an election training school we will be offering and our political action coordinators will be contacting our locals and activists to become involved in the upcoming election. Remember - our efforts helped to defeat the Harper Conservatives. It starts with your vote.

Much solidarity,


Atlantic Regional Director