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By May 2001, the government had increased its offer to 8.5 per cent to the NSGEU, and to 10.5 per cent to the NSNU.
On May 18, NSGEU nurses followed the union's recommendation and rejected the government's offer.
The Healthcare Services Continuation (2001) Act (26) applied only to Halifax-area health care workers, dividing them into four groups: (a) nurses represented by the NSGEU, (b) other health care workers represented by the NSGEU, (c) Halifax-area nurses represented by the NSNU, and (d) other health care workers in the Halifax area.
With only one dissenting government vote, the legislation was finally enacted on June 27, but was proclaimed in force only in respect of one group: non-nursing staff represented by the NSGEU. This was prompted by the NSGEU's threat, one day before Bill 68 passed, to take these employees on a wildcat, illegal strike.
At a meeting in late June, the NSGEU passed resolutions for its nurse and health care worker bargaining units to set its mass resignation campaign in motion.
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