May 17, 2017
The NSGEU’s Union Negotiating Committee for the Civil Service has determined that bargaining is at an impasse and is filing for arbitration to address outstanding issues.
“We went to the table twice in April with the help of a Conciliation Officer and bargaining was moving backwards,” says NSGEU President Jason MacLean.
“We have been bargaining for over a year and a half and need to make progress for our members and reach a fair agreement in a timely manner. We are requesting a third party to make this happen.”
On May 16, NSGEU members of the Civil Service voted 97% in favour of authorizing the union to file for arbitration if an impasse was declared.
Interest arbitration is more commonly known as binding arbitration. The union and the employer present their demands to an arbitrator or an arbitration board which renders a decision setting out the terms of the new collective agreement which is binding on both the employer and the union.
The NSGEU and the employer exchanged proposals in October 2015. Members voted overwhelmingly to reject the government’s final offer on December 14, 2016. The final offer contained the government’s legislated wage mandate; a four-year deal with a wage package of 0%,0%,1%, 1.5% and 0.5% on the last day of the contract. It also took away a long held and freely negotiated benefit called the Public Service Award – a deferred wage benefit negotiated in the 1980s to improve recruitment and retention in the Civil Service.
The union filed for conciliation in January.
There are over 7,300 members of the NSGEU who work in the Civil Service providing a vast array of important public services. They work in Access Nova Scotia centres, child welfare, corrections, the courts, education, finance, inspections, wildlife, fisheries, mining, and forestry – just to name a few.
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The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union represents over 31,000 women and men who provide quality public services Nova Scotian’s count on every day.
For more information, please contact:
Deedee Slye, NSGEU Communications Officer