01/22/2015 05:28 EST | Updated 03/24/2015 05:59 EDT

Nova Scotia Nurses' Union to take in most nurses, Premier Stephen McNeil says

HALIFAX - Premier Stephen McNeil says his government will alter regulations in legislation so that the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union represents most nurses in the province.

McNeil says he will choose an option offered by an arbitrator to combine bargaining units in the newly created provincial health authority and the IWK Health Centre into a single unit.

He says the move solely affects collective bargaining and does not affect the independence of the IWK Health Centre.

Under legislation passed last fall, there will be separate unions for nurses, health-care workers, clerical workers and support staff, and each bargaining unit has to have a different union representing it.

Arbitrator James Dorsey wants a union to have a clear majority before it can be picked as a bargaining agent.

He endorsed the government's plan to cut the number of bargaining units representing health-care workers from 50 to four in a decision released Monday, but a decision on which unions represent them was put off until later.