Public Services Sustainability Act

The Public Services Sustainability Act will protect the public services that Nova Scotians expect and deserve.

Government values public sector employees and respects collective bargaining. That is why the Public Services Sustainability Act allows modest wage increases for public sector employees. Nova Scotians have told us that they can’t afford to pay more taxes. The increases in the Act are affordable.

The Act deals with compensation. Newer, lower paid workers will continue to receive larger wage increases. Pensions, benefits, and vacation time are protected. Other issues can still be negotiated. Discussions at bargaining tables will continue.

The Public Services Sustainability Act does:

  • limit amounts that may be offered by employers to what the province and taxpayers can afford
  • allow employers to offer additional wage increases if approved savings are identified through negotiations during collective bargaining
  • limit the authority of arbitrators so the arbitrator’s award does not exceed the province’s ability to pay (when unionized employees do not have the right to strike and are required to pursue mandatory arbitration)
  • create consistency across the public service (union/non-union) regarding accrual and payment of public service awards.

The Act does not:

  • allow employers or the province to impose a collective agreement.

The Public Services Sustainability Act passed the House of Assembly on Dec. 18, 2015, and was proclaimed into law on Aug. 22, 2017.