Today, the interest arbitration board chaired by arbitrator William Kaplan issued an award that establishes a collective agreement for approximately 1,000 members of CUPE Local 1867, highway workers employed by the Province of Nova Scotia.

The process leading to this arbitration award began in November 2014 when CUPE and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) began negotiations to renew the province-wide collective agreement.

“This round of bargaining was unique in that government legislation, Bill 148 – Public Services Sustainability Act, affected the union’s ability to negotiate freely in critical areas including the term of agreement and wage increases,” says Peter Baxter, CUPE national representative.

The economic increases for the first four years were dictated by Bill 148, which include zero per cent in the first and second year. The first increase where retroactivity will apply is November 1, 2016.

Effective November 1, 2014 0%
Effective November 1, 2015 0%
Effective November 1, 2016 1%
Effective November 1, 2017 1.5%
Effective October 31, 2018 0.5%
Effective November 1, 2018 1.5%
Effective October 31, 2019 0.5%
Effective November 1, 2019 1.5%
Effective October 31, 2020 0.5%

Bill 148, proclaimed by the provincial government in 2017, freezes a negotiated benefit known as the retirement allowance or public service award. This benefit is eliminated for all new hires post April 2015. Today’s arbitration award includes provisions for an early payout of the public service award for all eligible employees. Other provisions, including all language changes, will take effect the date of this award.