As you are aware, the NSGEU Civil Service Union Negotiating Committee (UNC) was proceeding to arbitration with a pre-hearing conference and mediation session scheduled for today December 5 and tomorrow December 6 and arbitration hearing scheduled for April 24 to 26.
After reviewing the briefs from the NSGEU and the Employer, the Board felt they could move forward and yesterday at the invitation of the Board, the Employer and the NSGEU agreed to enter into a mediation/arbitration process where in the absence of a mediated settlement the Board will issue an arbitration order. The Union Negotiating Committee was advised of this development yesterday and supported the decision to proceed this way.
That means the NSGEU will likely see a resolve to a collective agreement by year’s end.
It is important to note that if the parties are not able to reach agreement and the board issues an award, the Union will still be in a position to proceed with its court challenges against Bill 148, the legislation that froze the Public Service Award. It also froze wages for the first two years of a new agreement and provided for minimal increases for two years after that.