MEDIA RELEASE: NSGEU Requests Arbitration After Government Stalls Civil Service Negotiations

In response to government’s attempts to stall negotiations, the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU) has requested a number of outstanding items be referred to arbitration for members of the Nova Scotia Civil Service.

“We had a number of days of bargaining in May where we were able to make some progress,” says Jason MacLean, NSGEU President. “Since that time, government delays have forced us to request the appointment of a conciliator to assist the parties with reaching a tentative agreement. Now, government has refused to meet at all this summer. This is unacceptable to the Union Negotiation Committee who are ready and available to continue making progress at the table.”

Outstanding items which will be referred to arbitration include: pay equity for administrative professionals; work from home programs; standby and callback provisions; domestic violence leave; travel regulations; rates of pay; vacations, and term of the agreement.

“These workers deserve to be treated with respect,” says MacLean. “We could settle these items quickly at the bargaining table and it is incredibly frustrating the government has now forced us into the position where we must request arbitration to conclude bargaining.”

NSGEU represents 8,000 Civil Service employees who have continued to provide public services to Nova Scotians throughout the pandemic. They include: Social Workers, Conservation Officers, OHS Inspectors, Case Aides, Planning and Development Officers, Deputy Sheriffs, Clerks, Service Nova Scotia staff, Correctional Officers, Engineering & Survey Technicians, Forestry Technicians, Probation Officers Compliance Officers, Youth Workers, just to name a few.

Interest arbitration is a means of resolving outstanding bargaining demands and is available to the union and employer in lieu of the right to strike (the Civil Service do not have the right to strike). It 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 parties. The arbitration process for the Civil Service is outlined in the Civil Service Collective Bargaining Act.


The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union represents over 31,000 workers who provide quality public services Nova Scotians count on every day.

For more information, or to arrange an interview NSGEU President Jason MacLean, please contact:

Deedee Slye, NSGEU Communications Officer,

902-497-6761 (cell)

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