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Civil Service Bargaining Arbitration Decision

The Civil Service Arbitration Board Chaired by Tom Cromwell released his decision at 8:00am this morning. This decision now finally concludes a collective agreement for civil service members.

The Arbitration Board’s decision results in a collective agreement that will expire on April 1, 2021.  The Union has just received the decision and we are still reviewing it, however our initial reaction is that the NSGEU is very pleased with the result.

The Arbitration Board has broken the province’s wage restraint plan by awarding two extra years at a combined 2% per year. The NSGEU is very pleased the Board chose to agree with the Union’s proposal to extend the contract by two years and offer wage increases beyond those outlined in the province’s wage restraint legislation.

Even more importantly, the Board agreed to retain our critical job security MOA which was negotiated in 2011 which the province initially proposed to delete.

The board provided wage increases as legislated in Bill 148 but then included, as the Union requested in its briefs, two further years of increases. As a result wages will increase as follows;

  • 0 per cent increases in 2015 and 2016.
  • 1 per cent increase effective April 1, 2017.
  • 1.5 per cent increase effective April 1, 2018
  • 0.5 per cent increase effective March 31, 2019.
  • 1.5 per cent increase effective April 1, 2019
  • 0.5 per cent increase effective March 31, 2020
  • 1.5 per cent increase effective April 1, 2020
  • 0.5 per cent increase effective March 31, 2021

The Board’s decision is consistent with Bill 148 in that the public service award will continue to be frozen as of April 1, 2015. That means civil servants will no longer accrue additional weeks of service after April 1, 2015.

However, the award does not halt the NSGEU from continuing its court challenge on Bill 148. Although it will take time, the court will eventual decide the outcome of Bill 148.

In addition, the Board agreed with the NSGEU’s proposal to allow members the option to have their existing public service award paid out before March 31, 2018. That is, members can request to have their public service award paid out immediately at their rate of pay in affect on March 31, 2018, or wait until their retirement. If members wait until retirement, the award will be paid out at their wage upon retirement.

NSGEU President Jason MacLean thanked members for their patience:

“Our members’ patience and commitment to the Union’s fight for a better deal were key to getting this deal,” said President MacLean. “I want to thank members for that support through a long and difficult process.  I believe this decision will effect negotiation tables throughout the public service.”

For a copy of the award, please click here.

34 Responses to Civil Service Bargaining Arbitration Decision

  1. Tim Jenkins December 7, 2017 at 10:09 am #

    Why are you very pleased with that award???!!! The government got everything they wanted and we have to go to court to fight that piece of legislation!

    I am not pleased with that award at all!

    Tim Jenkins Local 8 – NSGEU

    • Deedee Slye December 11, 2017 at 10:25 am #

      Hello! It was an award – a decision of an Arbitration Board, so there was little we can do about it really. However, the reason we reported being pleased is because if the government had their way, the Civil Service agreement would be gutted. They tabled takeaways including our job security language. This award by the Arbitration Board kept our agreement intact. As well, NSGEU members will have access to their accrued Public Service Award now, if they wish, rather than waiting until retirement. Finally, although the wage increases awarded by the Arbitration Board are not high, they are not zeros and the two extra years breaks the government’s wage restraint pattern. Hope this is helpful.

  2. CINDY R. YOUNG December 7, 2017 at 10:50 am #

    Good Morning!

    Thank-you for all of the work NSGEU has done to reach the decisions noted above!

    I’m not sure how to proceed, however I would like to participate in receiving the service award payout by March 31st, 2018 however would like to receive specific information pertaining to the amount I would receive, by what date, ETC.

    If someone could reach out to me concerning the above, I would really appreciate it!

    • Deedee Slye December 11, 2017 at 10:19 am #

      Hello there, thank you for your question and for your thank you! We have forwarded your question to our Labour Resource Centre, who will determine your Employee Relations Officer and refer your question forward.
      You can always contact us directly at inquiry@nsgeu.ca or by calling us at 902-424-4063 for specific questions. Thank you!!

  3. Sandi Partridge December 7, 2017 at 11:21 am #

    Thank you so very much to our Negotiating Team!!! It has been an incredibly difficult and uncertain time and through your commitment and perseverance our rights have prevailed.
    In the announcement it spoke to members having the option to request their public service award to be paid out immediately. Would you know who I might contact about this? Thank you!
    In solidarity,
    Sandi

    • Deedee Slye December 11, 2017 at 10:14 am #

      You should contact your Employee Relations Officer by calling our main number 902-424-4063 or by sending an email to inquiry@nsgeu.ca.

  4. Kelly December 7, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

    What about our benefits?
    Did NSHA get control of them?

    • Deedee Slye December 11, 2017 at 10:05 am #

      Hello there, just to clarify, this is an agreement for members of the Civil Service, not health care. Health care is still in negotiations. Thank you!

  5. Bill December 12, 2017 at 12:05 pm #

    If one takes the long service award as it currently sits (Frozen at 1 Apr 2015), does this infer acceptance of that freeze and amount, regardless of what may come from the court challenge to it?

    • Deedee Slye December 13, 2017 at 10:55 am #

      We do not know for sure at this time. Our thoughts are that if the Court of Appeal determines that the legislation which took away the Public Service Award is unconstitutional, hopefully, the Public Service Award will be reinstated effective April 1, 2015. If that happens, and a member has taken a payout of what they had accrued to March 31, 2015, their Public Service Award again would start up again on April 1, 2015, on a go-forward basis. Hope this helps.

  6. Steve December 13, 2017 at 12:54 pm #

    Can someone clarify for me, the service award accrues a one week per year of service or two weeks per year to a max of 26 weeks?

    • Deedee Slye December 15, 2017 at 10:48 am #

      One week/year.
      34.01 Public Service Award
      (a) An employee who ceases to be employed either by retirement or resignation from employment, and is immediately eligible for and immediately accepts a pension pursuant to the provisions of the Public Service Superannuation Act, shall be granted a Public Service Award equal to one (1) week’s pay for each year of full-time service to a maximum of twenty-six (26) years. The amount will include a pro-rated payment for a partial year of service.
      (b) The amount of Public Service Award provided under Article 34.01 (a) shall be calculated by the formula:
      Annual Salary/52 = 1 week

      Hope this helps, thank you!

  7. Edmure Tully December 20, 2017 at 9:13 am #

    Good day,

    I started my career with the Public Service in June 2014 on a 9 month term. I have since become a permanent employee. As per the new contract, I assume a pro-rated payment for a partial payment up to the April 1, 2015 should I choose the lump sum payout? Please confirm.

    • Deedee Slye December 21, 2017 at 4:58 pm #

      Hey there, we cannot give you any financial advice. You should be getting information about the specific amount you have accrued in January. When you receive that, you should seek financial advice. We cannot provide that for you. Thank you

      • Trish January 4, 2018 at 12:14 pm #

        When and how are we supposed to be notified of this?

        • Deedee Slye January 5, 2018 at 7:43 pm #

          As far as we know, you should receive notification about the process from the Employer early next week. Thank you for your question.

  8. Edmure December 22, 2017 at 8:30 am #

    Not looking for financial advice. Just want to confirm I will still get a payout option even though I had less then one year prior to the freeze of April 1 2015.

    • Deedee Slye December 27, 2017 at 3:34 pm #

      Thank you! Sorry, I misunderstood. From the collective agreement: 34.01 Public Service Award
      (a) An employee who ceases to be employed either by retirement or resignation from employment, and is immediately eligible for and immediately accepts a pension pursuant to the provisions of the Public Service Superannuation Act, shall be granted a Public Service Award equal to one (1) week’s pay for each year of full-time service to a maximum of twenty-six (26) years. The amount will include a pro-rated payment for a partial year of service.
      (b) The amount of Public Service Award provided under Article 34.01 (a) shall be calculated by the formula:
      Annual Salary/52 = 1 week

      Hope this helps,
      Thank you!

  9. Chris January 2, 2018 at 8:57 am #

    Hi,

    My wife worked several years as a casual and also permanent part time before getting permanent full time. She was working close to full time hours for all of those years. Will she accrue pro-rated payment for those years?

    Thanks,

    Chris

    • Deedee Slye January 3, 2018 at 4:36 pm #

      Yes she will. Thank you for your question.

  10. Steve January 5, 2018 at 11:46 am #

    Steve,

    Any idea when we will get these payouts?

    • Deedee Slye January 5, 2018 at 7:40 pm #

      As we understand it you should receive some notification of the process early next week. Thank you for your question.

  11. Amanda January 8, 2018 at 1:08 pm #

    Hi there. If one’s permanent position is part of the union but currently are working in an excluded position for several months, does that in any way preclude involvement in the payout process?

  12. Chris January 8, 2018 at 1:39 pm #

    Hi Deedee,

    Does anyone know how long they will take to get cashed out when you request it? Will someone cut a cheque or will it take months to get paid after submitting?

    Thanks!

    Chris

    • Saul Jabronski January 9, 2018 at 3:30 pm #

      is there a specific government person who can answer some of these lingering questions?

      • Deedee Slye January 17, 2018 at 3:30 pm #

        Hello there, sorry for the delay. You probably have already seen this – but if you haven’t, the government has a page with information about the PSA Payout and at the bottom there is an email address if you have more questions. https://novascotia.ca/service-payout. Hope this helps and thank you for your question.

    • Jim Acost January 9, 2018 at 6:56 pm #

      Also has there been any word on when backpay will be paid out?

      • Deedee Slye January 16, 2018 at 3:17 pm #

        We believe this should be in mid-February. Thank you!

  13. Lisa Richard January 10, 2018 at 8:40 am #

    I am wondering when we will see the 1% increase from April 1, 2017.

    • Deedee Slye January 16, 2018 at 3:17 pm #

      We believe you should see that in mid-February. Thank you!!

  14. Lisa Richard January 12, 2018 at 8:11 am #

    Just tried to email you and kept receiving – invalid input spam from my government computer. Might want to get that fixed.
    I sent a message to your chat a couple of days ago regarding our April 1, 2017 1% increase. I am wondering when we will see that.

    I note that I did receive an email regarding my public service award. The email tells me that I won’t be receiving pay out of my award until summer of 2018. Does the award not say “option to have their public service award paid out before March 31, 2018.” Why is the province saying summer of 2018. I realize they need to process however when Metro Transit workers ended their last strike they received pay out immediately. So again why are we not receiving pay out by March 31, 2018.

    A timely response would be appreciated.

    Lisa Richard

    • Deedee Slye January 16, 2018 at 3:09 pm #

      Hey there Lisa,
      Thank you for your note. I will let our IT know about that – but it might be a setting on your government computers that we can’t do anything about. I’ll check it out though. So, we believe you will see your retro pay or back pay in mid-February. Also, we just want to emphasize that your communication from the Employer says “by” summer. The Employer anticipates people will have different options and some options will dictate a later payout than others. That is all the information we have so far but more will come in the next two weeks. Please check back. Hope this is helpful. Thank you for your question.

  15. Stephen Fraser January 12, 2018 at 11:05 am #

    Does anyone know when we are getting our “backtime” from last April till now?

    thanks

    Stephen

    • Deedee Slye January 16, 2018 at 3:11 pm #

      We believe it should be to you by mid-February. Hope this is helpful. Thank you for your question.

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