October 29, 2018

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Tom Osborne, Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board:

Minister Osborne Provides Update on Collective Bargaining Progress

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to provide an update on the considerable progress we have made with collective bargaining.

Last week, correctional officers represented by NAPE ratified their collective agreement. This is the sixteenth agreement reached with NAPE this year, and ends this round of negotiations on a high note.

All NAPE agreements recognize the important contributions of our public service while also respecting our fiscal reality. These deals include a wage freeze, the elimination of significant severance liability, and secure changes to post-employment benefits.

Mr. Speaker, we have also made progress with CUPE, who are in the middle of a ratification process on seven collective agreements. We continue to have meaningful discussions with all other unions, and I’m confident we will have further agreements in the coming months.

When all collective agreements are complete, we anticipate the elimination of severance will save government $25 million annually, and changes to post-employment benefits for new employees will realize savings in the tens of millions by 2026.

The elimination of severance is progressing, and to date we have completed over half of severance payouts in government departments and some agencies, totaling approximately $47 million. Eliminating severance is something other governments have tried and failed to achieve, and is a significant good news story for our province.

Thank you.

2018 10 29                              2:00 p.m.