Nova Scotia legislature sits for second day to deal with home-care strike

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HALIFAX - The Nova Scotia legislature is taking the rare step of sitting on a Saturday as the Liberal government looks to pass essential services legislation to end a strike by Halifax area home-care workers.

Third and final reading is expected on a bill Premier Stephen McNeil says won't take away the right to strike.

But McNeil says it would require an employer and union to determine who is considered an essential worker and if an agreement can't be reached, the matter would be submitted to the Nova Scotia Labour Board.

Today's sitting follows an agreement reached by all three parties Friday evening, to reconvene the house while the law amendments committee continued to hear from a lengthy list of witnesses.

The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union say the 420 workers at Northwood Homecare want the same pay as their counterparts in hospitals.

Union president Joan Jessome says the legislation is more about busting the collective bargaining process for public-sector workers than it is about maintaining public safety.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Labour Board, General Employees Union

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, HALIFAX

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