CUPE Local 1867 President Steve JoyConciliation talks between CUPE Local 1867, representing highway workers, and the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal broke off today after an impasse was declared by the conciliation officer appointed by the Department of Labour. The two groups have been in negotiations, including conciliation, since November 2014.

“As per the Nova Scotia Highway Workers’ Collective Bargaining Act, the next step in the process is for an arbitration board to be appointed by the Minister at the request of one or both the parties, which will take place in the coming months,” says CUPE Local 1867 President Steve Joy. “CUPE will now explore its options regarding the right to a Charter challenge of the Liberal government’s Bill 148.”

“Negotiations became completely overshadowed by the passing of Bill 148, the Public Services Sustainability Act, which once it was proclaimed took away the ability of the union to bargain significant portions of the collective agreement, including wages, term of agreement, and a major concession with the elimination of the long-service award. It also precluded any arbitrator appointed by the minister to rule on those matters,” says Peter Baxter, CUPE national representative.

CUPE 1867, Nova Scotia Highway Workers’ Union, represents 1,400 men and women committed to ensuring safe travel in all parts of the province for the motoring public.