03/19/2014 10:51 EDT | Updated 05/19/2014 05:59 EDT

Mediator named to help resolve dispute between Nova Scotia health board, nurses

HALIFAX - A mediator has been appointed to help resolve a labour dispute between Nova Scotia's Capital District Health Authority and unionized nurses after conciliation talks broke down.

Bruce Outhouse has been named to help negotiations between the health board and about 2,500 registered nurses represented by the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union.

Labour Minister Kelly Regan says she is hopeful Outhouse will be able to help the two sides come to a settlement.

The union says talks with the employer broke off Monday over the issue of nurse-to-patient ratios, something the union says would improve patient safety.

Capital Health says there is no evidence that shows mandated registered nurse-to-patient ratios guarantee improved patient safety.

A strike vote held in February saw 90 per cent of nurses who cast ballots are in favour of walking off the job to back their contract demands.

Mediation will begin Thursday.