"I'm proud of the members who raised their voices against this offer and who stand with the bargaining committee as we proceed to the next steps." — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President
Halifax (14 Dec. 2016) — Members of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees' Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) who work in the civil service are sending a strong message to the Premier of Nova Scotia — they want a fairly negotiated deal.
Civil servants voted 94 per cent in favour of rejecting the final offer presented by government. The vote was counted at noon on December 14.
NSGEU/NUPGE members want a fairly negotiated collective agreement
"Our members want an agreement to be negotiated, not dictated," says Jason MacLean, President of the NSGEU. "It's time to return to the bargaining table."
Members working in the civil service provide a vast array of important public services. They work in Access Nova Scotia centres, child welfare, corrections, the courts, education, finance, inspections, wildlife, fisheries, mining, tourism, and forestry — just to name a few.
Government demands concerssions from civil service workers
The employer's final offer is a 4-year deal with a wage package of 0%, 0%, 1%, 1.5% and 0.5% on the last day of the contract. Their offer also ends a long-held benefit, called the Public Service Award, which is a deferred wage benefit negotiated in the 80's to improve recruitment and retention in the civil service. The proposed agreement freezes the benefit for all those who are current members and any new hires after April 2015 would not receive it at all.
"The final offer from the government is not acceptable to our members," says MacLean. "I'm proud of the members who raised their voices against this offer and who stand with the bargaining committee as we proceed to the next steps."
Parties will attempt to resolve outstanding issues through conciliation or arbitration
The next step for negotiations is conciliation, and if conciliation fails, the union would apply for arbitration.
In Nova Scotia, civil service members do not have the right to strike. This right is replaced with the right to interest arbitration. Labour relations for the civil service are covered in the Civil Service Collective Bargaining Act.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 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