Labour Relations, Ministerial Statement
NOTE: The following is a statement by Finance and Treasury Board Minister Randy Delorey.
Government respects and appreciates the hard work performed by public servants, teachers, nurses and others. They deliver vital public services to Nova Scotians.
We believe government and its employees have many common interests, including sustaining and improving public services and ensuring the workforce is motivated and engaged.
Government also has the important responsibility to set fiscal policy that ensures the long-term sustainability of programs and services and to protect Nova Scotia's fiscal plan. Controlling spending and encouraging economic growth gives us the ability to invest in core public services.
The most significant element of public spending is compensation for public-sector employees, which represents 52 per cent of total spending.
I met with labour leaders, today, Nov. 5, to seek their views on ways to reform public-sector collective bargaining in this province, for the benefit of all Nova Scotians.
We want to repair public-sector labour relations that have been broken far too long.
Nova Scotia's current labour legislation is based on a decades-old model that was designed for the industrial private sector of the early 20th century. It is time to consider whether it reflects our current, or anticipates our future, public-sector needs.
We took the first steps to a new approach with the Public Sector Sustainability Mandate that was outlined last August. Government is committed to fair and transparent collective bargaining. We believe there is innovation and creativity within all public-sector employees.
All Nova Scotians will benefit if those good ideas can be maximized in a modern, collaborative labour environment.