Local 108 – Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Questions & Answers

We have prepared a Q&A with information about the government’s decision to move the Art Gallery of NS out of the Civil Service. Please contact the union if you have any questions not included below.

What has happened?

Amendments to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Act have been made by the provincial government which move employees out from the Civil Service to the broader public service to become direct employees of the gallery.

Why are we not still in the Civil Service Bargaining Unit?

Government has made The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia the employer through legislation – Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Act.

What does this mean for our union membership?

You will now be part of a smaller local, Local 108, that is made up of only Nova Scotia Art Gallery employees. Your local will be negotiating its own collective agreement.

What happens to our current collective agreement?

You are covered by the terms of the current Civil Service Master agreement until a new one is negotiated. This includes membership in your current pension and benefit plan.

Will negotiations be different for the next collective agreement?

Since you are now outside of the Civil Service, your local will now be covered by the Trade Union Act. One of the most significant differences between these Acts is that you now have the right to strike. Your next negotiations will be with this new right in place. Bargaining priorities will be determined by you and the rest of your local through the bargaining input survey which is sent out to the entire membership as your local prepares for negotiations.

Are there any advantages to having our own collective agreement and being out of the Civil Service?

One of the advantages of having your own collective agreement is that it can be tailored to your specific workplace more easily than when you were part of a larger Civil Service Master Agreement entity. This is, of course, subject to agreement through negotiations with your employer.

Another advantage is that you will have more opportunities for representation within the union. You will be electing an executive, council and committee reps, delegates to convention and more.

Are there any disadvantages to being outside the Civil Service?

Although you currently have the same layoff and job posting provisions as you did when you were a member of the Civil Service, you are now an internal candidate for the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and not the larger Civil Service – a much smaller pool of positions.

What will happen with my pension and benefits?

Your pension and benefits continue until a new collective agreement is negotiated. NSGEU negotiators and your elected bargaining committee will bargain with the goal to maintain or improve your existing pension and benefits in your next collective agreement.

When does bargaining begin?

Currently, although it has been discussed, there is no date set with the employer to begin negotiations.

Now that we have our own local, do we have to elect a local executive?

Yes. Elections will be held for your first Local Executive. You will be electing a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary-Treasurer, and a Chief Steward. There are descriptions of these positions below.  You will also be electing your first Bargaining Committee. You do not need to have any experience in any of these positions before running for them – just a willingness to learn and to take a leadership role in your union. There are ongoing education opportunities offered by the union and support from your Employee Relations Officer (ERO).

NSGEU encourages all members to attend their local meetings and we do our best to make that easy for you. That’s why the union reimburses (at set rates) mileage, child-care, and elder-care expenses you incur to attend your local meeting (in accordance with Section 18 of the NSGEU Board Policy).

Executive Roles and Responsibilities

  • The local presidentconducts the affairs of the local by holding local meetings and facilitating communication between the NSGEU and its members.
  • The local vice-presidentassists the president in his or her duties and acts as local president when the elected president is absent.
  • The local secretaryprepares meeting notices and agendas and takes and distributes the minutes of local meetings. The secretary must also ensure that copies of all minutes are kept in the local’s minute book or binder.
  • Thelocal treasurer keeps accurate records of all the local’s financial transactions and ensures adherence to the NSGEU’s financial policies.
  • The local chief stewardworks with your local’s ERO in matters related to the collective agreement. They help find solutions for workplace issues and concerns and ensure your employer’s adherence to your collective agreement.

Occupational and Regional Council Representation and OHS too!

You will also be electing your representative who will sit on an Occupational Council and Regional Council. There will also be an election for an Occupational Health & Safety Rep for your workplace. Members can also be elected to the Committee Pool which is used to draw representation for NSGEU Committees.

For detailed descriptions of roles, duties and functions of NSGEU officers, boards and committees, please refer to the NSGEU Constitution & By-Laws, found on the NSGEU website on the “About” page. Information about Committees are here: https://nsgeu.ca/about/how-nsgeu-works/committees-of-the-board/. You can also request a copy of the NSGEU Constitution & By-Law’s by contacting the NSGEU.

Do we get to elect delegates to the next NSGEU Convention?

Your Local will be able to elect two members in good standing to be delegates to the next NSGEU Convention in 2025.

Where do I go if I have a question?

If you have any question or concern, please contact the NSGEU at 902-424-4063 or by email at inquiry@nsgeu.ca. Our NSGEU staff can answer your question or connect you to someone, such as your Employee Relations Officer who can.

Please join us on Facebook

If you would like to join our social media community, you can find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/nsgeu.

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