"Creative" bargaining means austerity in Nova Scotia.
Halifax (15 Sept. 2015) — “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/NUPGE).
“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," says Jessome.
Nova Scotia government announces its austerity, "Net Zero" bargaining strategy
At that meeting, public sector unions were told about 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 explained, “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.”
NSGEU/NUPGE launches Freedom of Information campaign to prepare for bargaining
“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 September 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.'”
Read NSGEU/NUPGE'S letter requesting information
The NSGEU/NUPGE has sent a formal letter to Minister Delorey outlining the requests. The first FOIPOP application is being submitted and is a request for background information from the Department of Finance regarding the government’s “Proposed Public Service Sustainability Mandate.”
The letter to Minister Delorey is on the union's website. The NSGEU/NUPGE will also be tweeting and posting the FOIPOP requests in full, along with any responses the union receives on the website and Facebook account.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE