UPDATE: Minister of Finance Cathy Bennett is now saying that the government made an error in not providing proper and adequate notice to the Nurses’ Union. She said she is going to ask Nurses to the table anyway with other unions.
RNUNL Contract Extension
As you are probably aware, the Registered Nurses Union of Newfoundland and Labrador (RNUNL) announced today that their contract appears to have been extended by one year because neither side gave notice to commence the bargaining process within the prescribed timelines in the RNUNL collective agreement.
Unlike the majority of NAPE public sector contracts, the RNUNL contract is meant to expire on June 30. The government was supposed to give notice by May 31 and failed to do so.
At this stage, we are unclear as to why the government missed the deadline as they have yet to respond on this matter.
To the best of our knowledge, adequate and proper notice has not been sent to some of the other public sector unions.
We wanted to post a brief update as to how this affects you and our collective bargaining process as this development may cause some confusion and concern amongst the membership of NAPE.
Firstly, government served notice to NAPE (and NAPE to government) in February of this year as per the collective agreements.
Secondly, all public sector agreements are currently in place, though the majority of them expired on March 31 of this year – you are protected by a collective agreement. The current agreements will remain in place and effective during the collective bargaining process.
Thirdly, while notice has been given as per the NAPE collective agreements, bargaining has not yet commenced – initial proposals have not yet been exchanged and no date has been set at the time of writing this message. As per our update from a few weeks ago, we are at the very early stages of the process.
We will continue to update you as we proceed with bargaining. Let me assure you that the best interest of the members is always at the forefront of every decision that we make.