“On August 18, the Finance Minister asked us to get ‘creative and innovative’ as part of a new approach to public sector bargaining,” says Joan Jessome, President of the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union (NSGEU). “To do that, the government has to give us more substantive information than the vague generalities that we have heard thus far from Mr. Delorey and the government.”
At that meeting, public sector unions were told of the government’s austerity plans for public sector employees of the province. Minister Delorey explained the Liberal’s “Net-Zero” mandate and their intent to bargain a five-year term for all collective agreements going forward.
Jessome explains: “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.”
“In the spirit of the Premier’s proclamation of Right to Know Week (from September 28 to October 3, 2015), we are seeking this 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,” says Jessome. “We plan to submit a series of FOIPOP applications over the coming weeks, and anticipate no problems with receiving the requested information. On Sept. 23, 2013, then Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil said he would review access to information laws and promised to make Nova Scotia ‘the most open and transparent province in Canada.'”
The NSGEU has sent a formal letter to Minister Delorey outlining our requests. The first FOIPOP application is being submitted today and is a request for background information from the Department of Finance regarding the government’s “Proposed Public Service Sustainability Mandate.”
We have posted our letter to Minister Delorey on our website. The NSGEU will also be tweeting and posting our FOIPOP requests in full along with any responses we receive on our website, and via Facebook and Twitter (#opfoipop).
The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union represents over 30,000 women and men who provide quality public services Nova Scotians count on every day.
To arrange an interview, please contact:
Deedee Slye, NSGEU Communications Officer
902.424.4063 (office); 902.497.6761 (cell)