N.S. civil ser­vants to seek ar­bi­tra­tion

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ATLANTIC -

Nova Sco­tia’s largest pub­lic sec­tor union says con­cil­i­a­tion talks with the prov­ince have failed and it is now fil­ing for ar­bi­tra­tion on be­half of 8,000 civil ser­vants.

The Nova Sco­tia Gov­ern­ment and Gen­eral Em­ploy­ees Union said the prov­ince hadn’t budged from any of the key is­sues in­cluded in its last of­fer, in­clud­ing a wage in­crease of 3.5 per cent over four years.

Union pres­i­dent Jason Ma­cLean called the talks “frus­trat­ing” and said Wed­nes­day that the goal is to reach a fair agree­ment “once the premier is re­moved from the bar­gain­ing ta­ble.”

“I think the gov­ern­ment is more about (union) ca­pit­u­la­tion,” Ma­cLean said in an in­ter­view.

“They have this stance and I think they can’t un­der­stand why any­body would want to keep what they al­ready have. It seemed to me that they weren’t very pre­pared to get into this like we thought they would be.”

Ma­cLean said a ma­jor stum­bling block is the gov­ern­ment’s in­tent to end a re­tire­ment pay­ment known as the pub­lic ser­vice award.

He said the union’s mem­ber­ship is adamant about re­tain­ing ben­e­fits won in pre­vi­ous bar­gain­ing at­tempts.

“It’s ab­so­lutely para­mount the pub­lic ser­vice award re­mains in­tact,” said Ma­cLean, while hint­ing at some flex­i­bil­ity.

“We can go out and re­place it with some­thing, but it has to be at equal value or near equal value. We are look­ing to main­tain.”

An ar­bi­tra­tion hear­ing was orig­i­nally sched­uled for Tues­day and Wed­nes­day with the prov­ince’s labour board, but those were set aside af­ter the sides re­cently agreed to one last at­tempt at con­cil­i­a­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.