Civil Service Bargaining Arbitration Decision

The Civil Service Arbitration Board Chaired by Tom Cromwell released his decision at 8:00am this morning. This decision now finally concludes a collective agreement for civil service members.

The Arbitration Board’s decision results in a collective agreement that will expire on April 1, 2021.  The Union has just received the decision and we are still reviewing it, however our initial reaction is that the NSGEU is very pleased with the result.

The Arbitration Board has broken the province’s wage restraint plan by awarding two extra years at a combined 2% per year. The NSGEU is very pleased the Board chose to agree with the Union’s proposal to extend the contract by two years and offer wage increases beyond those outlined in the province’s wage restraint legislation.

Even more importantly, the Board agreed to retain our critical job security MOA which was negotiated in 2011 which the province initially proposed to delete.

The board provided wage increases as legislated in Bill 148 but then included, as the Union requested in its briefs, two further years of increases. As a result wages will increase as follows;

  • 0 per cent increases in 2015 and 2016.
  • 1 per cent increase effective April 1, 2017.
  • 1.5 per cent increase effective April 1, 2018
  • 0.5 per cent increase effective March 31, 2019.
  • 1.5 per cent increase effective April 1, 2019
  • 0.5 per cent increase effective March 31, 2020
  • 1.5 per cent increase effective April 1, 2020
  • 0.5 per cent increase effective March 31, 2021

The Board’s decision is consistent with Bill 148 in that the public service award will continue to be frozen as of April 1, 2015. That means civil servants will no longer accrue additional weeks of service after April 1, 2015.

However, the award does not halt the NSGEU from continuing its court challenge on Bill 148. Although it will take time, the court will eventual decide the outcome of Bill 148.

In addition, the Board agreed with the NSGEU’s proposal to allow members the option to have their existing public service award paid out before March 31, 2018. That is, members can request to have their public service award paid out immediately at their rate of pay in affect on March 31, 2018, or wait until their retirement. If members wait until retirement, the award will be paid out at their wage upon retirement.

NSGEU President Jason MacLean thanked members for their patience:

“Our members’ patience and commitment to the Union’s fight for a better deal were key to getting this deal,” said President MacLean. “I want to thank members for that support through a long and difficult process.  I believe this decision will effect negotiation tables throughout the public service.”

For a copy of the award, please click here.

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