October 13, 2017 10:18 am
Updated: October 13, 2017 11:04 am

Conciliator could start next week in Nova Scotia health contract talks:minister

A photo taken from a rally against Nova Scotia's Bill 148 on Sept. 21, 2017.

Alexander Quon/Global News

Nova Scotia’s labour minister says he will appoint a conciliator in stalled contract talks with four health care unions.

Labi Kousoulis says the request was made by the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the IWK Health Centre.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia health authorities file for conciliation as talks with health-care unions breakdown

Kousoulis says under the negotiating process a government conciliator must be appointed within 14 days, but he says one could be in place as early as next week.

The contract negotiation is the first since the government merged district health authorities in 2014 and reduced the number of health care bargaining units from 50 to four.

WATCH: NSGEU gives notice of charter challenge to Bill 148

Kousoulis says if conciliation talks fail he would need to discuss sticking points with his department and contemplate next steps, but he didn’t elaborate.

He says the talks with the unions representing nurses and other health care workers won’t have any effect on the service patients can expect at hospitals.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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