Nova Scotia’s civil servants accepting a new two-year deal was a victory for both the union and the government, according to Nova Scotia General Employees Union head Joan Jessome.

While many union members were not pleased with only a one per cent raise in each of the next two years, Jessome said, other factors such as enhanced job security and lateral transfers won the majority over.

“If they weren’t there, there’s no way this contract would have been accepted with one per cent,” she said. “I think that’s what sold the contract. The job security and the lateral transfers.”

Only around 40 per cent of 7,700 union members voted to ratify the deal, but Jessome said that’s not unusual.

“For the civil service, less than that (voted to accept) the contract last round,” she said.
“That’s pretty traditional. That’s not alarming.”

Jessome said, however, that the government may have a harder time during the next round of negotiations if it doesn’t offer more than a one per cent raise.

She said the union wasn’t “happy about it this time, (and) they won’t be nearly as happy if it happens again.”

Areas of work

Civil service employees work in such areas as natural resources, transportation, social services, and food services.