Bad news budget for people of Nova Scotia, public services

“Cuts to public sector jobs released in today’s budget are a shameful attack on our valuable services and the frontline staff who deliver them,” says Joan Jessome, President of the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union (NSGEU). “It is also the beginning of the sell-off of public assets into private hands.”

The Liberal government has completely eliminated the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism (ERDT), replacing it with a new Department of Business.

“Eliminating the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism is certainly an ironic move,” says Jessome, “when we have heard so much from reports like “One Nova Scotia” about the need to strengthen our rural economic development and tourism.”

Approximately 78 employees and members of the NSGEU, the majority who work in ERDT have been issued layoff notices. This includes 20 Service Nova Scotia employees who have the option of relocating with their jobs. These layoffs follow cuts to 58 much needed seasonal jobs in seven parks across the province and Visitor Information Centres in Pictou and Digby, and another 11 positions in child welfare services in the communities of Guysborough and Barrington.

“This budget is brutal,” says Jessome. “They are trying to balance their books on the backs of the public service and are decimating our communities across the province.”

Many communities will lose their frontline land registration services as the budget includes the consolidation of existing land registration offices into just five for the whole province and the creation of a new Land Services Branch. This is believed to be the first step in the government’s planned privatization of this registry.

In mid-March the government announced plans to pursue the privatization of three registries within Service Nova Scotia: the Registry of Joint Stocks; Registry of Motor Vehicles; and the NS Land Registry.

Cuts to services include closing seven remote rural courthouses including Port Hood, Guysborough, Baddeck, Lunenburg, Liverpool, Comeauville, and Barrington.

The NSGEU will be working with affected members to ensure their workplace rights are protected.


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6 Responses to Bad news budget for people of Nova Scotia, public services

  1. Clare Kennedy April 9, 2015 at 9:10 pm #

    I tried to link into the phone conference call tonight and all I got was music. I called back several times but was unable to get through. The cuts to Economic Development and LRO offices today was brutal. I am trying to keep informed but there seemed to be some technical difficulties.

    • Holly Fraughton April 10, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

      Hi Clare, so sorry to hear of the technical issues you experienced on the call! Lots of people share your concerns, and we’re trying to ensure politicians hear these concerns. If you have a chance, please visit to find out more.


  2. Donna Richards April 10, 2015 at 7:37 am #

    This is outrageous, How is this going to help the economy, No jobs, no buying power, no buying power means nobody is able to live here. People are leaving Nova Scotia in droves now. How does the government think this is going to pay down the deficit?

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  3. Union Made April 10, 2015 at 8:15 am #

    Will NSGEU be addressing the freeze of the Public Service Award? I don’t understand how the government can unilaterally put a freeze on accrual of time for a negotiated benefit.

    • Deedee Slye April 10, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

      Hello there, just to let you know the freeze of the PSA does not affect unionized staff, only excluded staff. You should also know that the NSGEU will not agree to concessions like freezing or taking away the PSA in collective bargaining or through any other process. Please visit and send the Premier and your MLA a letter. Let them know how you feel.

      • Union Made April 11, 2015 at 9:02 pm #

        Thank you for the clarification, Deedee. I found the wording of the government’s press release to be fairly ambiguous on that. I am, as always, feeling very fortunate to enjoy the protection of union membership. I just wish the government wasn’t free to attack the wages and benefits of our excluded brothers and sisters.

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