E-Vote on Employer’s Final Offer – Vote will begin December 12 at 8 a.m. and end December 14 at noon.
Your Bargaining Unit Negotiating Council and your Union Negotiating Committee are recommending the rejection of the Employer’s final offer.
This offer includes two years of zeros, and ends the Public Service Award for all new members (as of April 2015) while freezing it for all existing members. Now is the time to make your voice heard.
This is not a strike vote. The Civil Service does not have the right to strike. In place of this right binding arbitration is mandated. If members vote to reject the Employer’s Final Offer and no agreement is subsequently reached, either party can apply for conciliation and/or arbitration.
On December 12 at 8 a.m. every signed member of the Civil Service with an email address will be sent an email containing a link and a PIN number which will allow you to vote by email or by phone. Please spread the word about the vote and if a co-worker has not received information about the vote, ask them to contact us with a valid email address by November 30. If at noon on December 12th, you have not yet received your voter information via email, please contact the NSGEU for assistance.
Join us at one of the following Information Sessions to review the Employer’s Final Offer. President MacLean will be at many of these meetings along with a representative of the Union Negotiating Committee. We look forward to answering any questions you may have.
We are holding one last Telephone Town Hall for the Professional Bargaining Unit of the Civil Service on Wed. Dec. 7 at 7:30 pm. All signed members of the PR Bargaining Unit should receive a call at the number you have provided us with.
If you would like to attend this last town hall but are a member of the TS or CL bargaining units, you can still attend by calling in yourself. To get the dial-in number please call the NSGEU.
We look forward to seeing you there.
NSGEU Civil Service Bargaining Unit Negotiating Council and Union Negotiating Committee
Civil Service Bargaining Background
The Civil Service Union Negotiating Committee (UNC) exchanged proposals with the Employer, the Public Service Commission, (aka the McNeil government), on October 22, 2015. After brief discussions, the Committee was handed a final offer.
The McNeil government has since refused to return to the bargaining table and continue negotiations. They are not interested in negotiating. They would rather dictate their terms.
Their final offer includes a wage freeze for the first two years of the contract, a one percent increase in the third year, and a fourth year with 1.5 percent increase and a 0.5 percent increase on the last day of the agreement. The final offer also includes the elimination of the Public Service Award (PSA) for all new hires and the freezing of it for all those members who are accruing it to date. The PSA was negotiated and agreed upon in 1974 and took its current form in 1984 and helps recruit and retain workers to the Civil Service.
The terms of government’s offer are not acceptable to the Civil Service Bargaining Unit Council and Committee (BUNC & UNC) who are recommending members reject it.
Regarding Bill 148
The McNeil government tabled Bill 148, Public Services Sustainability (2015) Act, in Dec. 2015 and it contains the same wage package and discontinuation of the PSA contained in their final offer to the Civil Service and the Teachers. You can view the legislation here. Government has said that they will impose the terms of the Bill if their fiscal mandate is threatened by arbitration, strike, or other means.
If Bill 148 is imposed, we will challenge it in the courts. Stripping the collective agreement of a freely negotiated benefit such as the Public Service Award, we believe, may be successfully challenged.
Regarding the Civil Service Memorandum of Agreement #2 (MOA #2)
Your Bargaining Committee was initially concerned about MOA #2 during this round of bargaining. The MOA #2 was negotiated seven years ago and is an enhancement of your job security language that requires the employer to provide a reasonable offer of alternative employment somewhere in the province if the regular placement/displacement process does not result in a vacancy. The Committee thought this MOA was at risk due to public statements made by the Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission, Labi Kousoulis, in the Herald on Sept., 23, 2014 when he spoke about removing it.
However, since then, an arbitrator has linked the MOA #2 with job security provinces of Article 37 in a decision. We believe this reinforces the job security language included in MOA #2 and that other arbitrators would honor this decision in this round and future rounds of bargaining.