Premier McNeil’s Bill 148 takes us back to the dark ages

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Solidarity Halifax member Larry Haiven wrote an op-ed at the Nova Scotia Advocate to denounce Premier McNeil’s Bill 148 which imposes a four-year wage package on public employees. Larry Haiven is professor emeritus of labour relations at Saint Mary’s University, a research associate of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Nova Scotia, and a member of Solidarity Halifax.

“KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – On Tuesday, August 22, the provincial government enforced the Public Services Sustainability Act (Bill 148), imposing a four-year wage package on 75,000 public employees. Even at current low rates of inflation, this could result in a real wage cut of about 7%. In addition, the Act peremptorily removes a long service award scheme that the unions accepted many years ago in lieu of up-front wage increases. That approximately a further 2% pay cut for new employees. Together, the two measures shrink the standard of living our public service workers, which is among the lowest in the country.

The Act also prohibits arbitrators from exercising any discretion on these issues when called upon to settle a dispute. It even prohibits arbitrators from ruling on the constitutionality of the Act, as they legally have the right to do.”


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