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On August 18, the NSGEU and 12 other unions were summoned to a meeting with the Finance Minister Randy Delorey. At that meeting, we were told of the government’s austerity plans for public sector employees of the province. Minister Delorey explained the Liberal’s “Net-Zero” mandate (translated: wage freezes) and their intent to bargain a five-year term for all collective agreements going forward. He then invited the unions to participate in a dialogue with the government, calling on us to get “creative and innovative” within government’s mandate.
In order to fully understand the economic state of the province and thus be able to participate in budgetary discussions in a “creative and innovative” way, we need more a great deal more information than we were given in Minister Delorey’s Powerpoint presentation.
In the spirit of the Premier’s proclamation of Right to Know Week (from September 28 to October 3, 2015) the NSGEU will be seeking information from the provincial government using the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) process as we prepare for our upcoming round of bargaining. Public sector workers understand the value of what they are doing, and are proud of the contribution they make to our economy. They deserve more from their government than austerity-minded platitudes.
We plan to submit a series of FOIPOP applications over the coming weeks, and anticipate no problems with receiving the requested information because in an article published on Sept. 23, 2013, Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil himself said he would review access to information laws and promised to make Nova Scotia “the most open and transparent province in Canada.”
We sent the following letter to Minister Delorey sent on September 11, 2015, advising him of our planned FOIPOPs. (click here for link to letter)
For more information about the Freedom of Information Act and the application process, click here.
Note: All FOIPOP requests will be tweeted and posted on our Facebook site.