MEDIA RELEASE: Valley School Support Workers Ratify Agreement, End Strike

Today, striking school support workers in the Valley voted by 92.3 per cent to accept the new tentative agreement being recommended to them by their bargaining committee. That new agreement achieves what members were asking for: wage parity with workers doing the same job elsewhere in the province.

“These members have finally achieved a long-overdue and important breakthrough by securing wage parity,” said NSGEU President Sandra Mullen, “In the face of unprecedented inflation, when many people are struggling to make ends meet, these workers stood together to demand what was right and fair, and together, they were able to achieve parity for their sector.”

Annapolis Valley School Support workers will be leveled up to the highest rates of pay for their positions in Nova Scotia during the life of this collective agreement, which extends from April 1st, 2021 to March 31st, 2024.

Highlights of the deal include economic adjustments of 1.5% (April 1, 2021), 1.5% (April 1, 2022), 3% (April 1, 2023) and 0.5% (March 31, 2024). Additionally, there will be an advance payment towards parity of 1.5% effective the date of ratification to every “qualified” or “partially qualified” employee in the bargaining unit who is not already highest paid in the province. Any classifications paid less than $20 per hour will receive a $1 per hour increase, or more than a 5% raise, effective April 1, 2023 if they are paid less than $20 an hour at the top step at that time. Finally, the union and employer agreed that all “qualified” and “partially qualified” positions will be compared to all similar positions across Nova Scotia to determine the highest hourly rate in the province, and if it is determined that an hourly rate in AVRCE is not highest paid in the province, that classification will receive two adjustments to get them to the highest rate: 50% of the difference between their rate and the highest by April 1, 2023, and the remaining 50% by March 31, 2024.

“After more than a decade of living with the austerity legacy of past-Premier Stephen McNeil, we are finally able to see that the collective bargaining process works, when it is allowed to do so,” added President Mullen, “The current government not only allowed the bargaining process to unfold as it should – without legislative interference tipping the scales – but they have agreed to the principle of parity and fairness for these workers, and that is something that should be credited.”

Pickets in the Valley have now ended, and members of Local 73 will be back in schools tomorrow (Wednesday).

Approximately 150 members of Local 70, on the South Shore, remain on strike, although their bargaining committee was able to achieve a tentative agreement in conciliation today, which they will bring forward to their members for a ratification vote tomorrow.
The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union represents over 34,000 workers who provide quality public services Nova Scotians count on every day.
For more information, or to arrange an interview with President Mullen, please contact:
Holly Fraughton, NSGEU Communications Officer,
902-471-1781 (cell)

Related Articles

Start typing and press Enter to search