Mediation starts as deadline looms for possible strike by Nova Scotia nurses

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HALIFAX - Mediation talks started today between Nova Scotia's largest health authority and the union representing about 2,400 registered nurses, who will be in a legal strike position in two weeks.

The Capital Health District Health Authority says health services would begin to be disrupted as the April 3 strike date draws closer.

While Capital Health has contingency plans in place, spokesman John Gillis says patient care will be affected if the talks last more than a week.

However, he said Local 97 of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union has agreed to maintain full staffing levels for certain services, including the QEII emergency department, dialysis unit, Nova Scotia Cancer Centre, veterans services and intensive care units.

In the event of a strike, staffing levels would drop to an average of 10 per cent for 150 other health service areas, causing major disruptions.

A union spokeswoman confirmed mediation talks led by lawyer Bruce Outhouse are being held at a local hotel.

Organizations: Capital Health District Health Authority, Nova Scotia Government, General Employees Union Nova Scotia Cancer Centre

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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