Mark Furey leaves a media scrum in Halifax on Monday, August 31, 2015. Nova Scotia’s labour relations minister has scheduled an announcement for later today in which he is expected to proclaim a bill imposing a wage package on civil servants. Government sources who requested anonymity have confirmed Mark Furey will proclaim Bill 148, which was passed by the Liberal government in December 2015 and would impose a four-year wage package on civil servants. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan Nova Scotia government imposes wage package on 75,000 civil servants by Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press Posted Aug 22, 2017 5:48 am MDT Last Updated Aug 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s Liberal government finally moved on a contentious piece of labour legislation Tuesday, effectively imposing a wage package on the province’s 75,000 public sector employees and drawing a fiery response from the union representing the majority of them.Premier Stephen McNeil said the proclamation of the Public Services Sustainability Act was being done in the “best interests of Nova Scotians,” but the union president called that insulting.“It’s the arrogance of this government that just really cooks my goose,” said Jason MacLean, president of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU).The act was passed in December 2015 to ensure third party arbitrators could not bind the government to wage settlements. At the time, McNeil promised it would not be brought into force until it was needed.The government’s move came two weeks after the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU) — the province’s largest — filed for arbitration on behalf of nearly 8,000 civil servants after last-ditch conciliation talks broke down. Those workers included corrections, child welfare and court employees.The new act would also cover thousands of other workers, including those in health care who are yet to reach new deals with the province.“I’ve made it very clear that an unelected, unaccountable arbitrator will not determine the taxpayers’ ability to pay,” McNeil told reporters.The act doesn’t end arbitration but does limit arbitrators from making awards that exceed the wage guidelines.It sets a wage pattern of three per cent over four years that will allow increases of one per cent in the third year of the contract, followed by 1.5 per cent in the fourth year and 0.5 per cent on the final day of the package.A retirement allowance is also frozen retroactive to April 1, 2015. The so-called public service award is a lump sum payment for retiring workers with at least 10 years of service.New employees will no longer be eligible for the payment under the government’s change.MacLean lashed out at the government’s move, even though he said he wasn’t surprised by it.“You have Stephen McNeil who I believe is a snake, and then you have (labour relations minister) Mark Furey who is basically the dishonourable middle man. These guys are taking control of where labour goes,” MacLean said in an interview.MacLean pointed out his union members are also taxpayers who will now have less money to spend as the province struggles with a sputtering economy.“And now he (McNeil) took away their public service award which is adding insult to injury because it is something that was freely and collectively bargained,” he said.McNeil said the act will be referred to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal under the Constitutional Questions Act to obtain an opinion.He said the government is confident the law will stand up to constitutional scrutiny.“We believe the constitution says that everyone is entitled to open and free collective bargaining. We believe we’ve gone that process. We have been at the table many times with our (bargaining) units,” he said.MacLean said the union would wait to see how the Nova Scotia court rules, adding that the union also stands ready to mount a Charter of Rights challenge before the Supreme Court of Canada.“The NSGEU will not rest and they will make this government miserable,” said MacLean.The act exempts groups that already have agreements, including judges, doctors, physician residents, teachers, and about 15,000 management and non-union positions.McNeil was asked whether he believed his party’s re-election May 30 was an endorsement of his approach to the labour file.“This has been an endorsement on the direction of our government. We also know that Nova Scotians wanted our government to live within its means and they believe the approach that we were doing was a positive one.”Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie said the government’s move is part of “an expensive game.”“We are now condemned to years of legal costs,” Baillie said. “Millions of dollars that’s not going to go to doctors or health care because the government couldn’t get the job done in the normal way and has resorted to this kind of gamesmanship.”NDP critic Susan Leblanc said the government’s court referral signals a lack of confidence in legislation that she said will further sour labour relations in the province.“It basically says we don’t want to go any further in these negotiations, this is what we want, this is what’s going to happen, we’re allowed to do this, we are going to push it through. It’s a bullying tactic.”Earlier this year the government drew the ire of more than 9,300 public school teachers when it ended a 16-month contract dispute by passing legislation that imposed a contract settlement.The bill also gave teachers a three per cent wage increase over four years and froze their long service award retroactive to July 2015.It came after teachers had previously rejected three tentative agreements.
Maptek has announced Maptek Sentry – a new system that will help site personnel keep track of surface changes. “Sentry works with the I-Site 8820 laser scanner to monitor and report on movements that have the potential to interrupt mining activity,” said Maptek Laser Imaging Solutions Manager, Athy Kalatzis. Mining customers provided input and experience that helped enhance the Sentry system, which takes advantage of the latest sensor technologies in the I-Site 8820 laser scanner.Sentry offers significant advantages for monitoring low wall stability and is a cost-effective solution for acquiring fast and responsive surface change data over large areas.“Ease of use is important for busy survey teams. Once the laser scanner is set up, an overview scan provides a starting point to establish multiple zones in an area of interest. The user controls monitoring frequency and site tolerances for notification alerts,” added Kalatzis.Displacement, velocity and inverse velocity can be used to trigger notifications, which are automatically sent when network connections are available. A heat map provides an instant overview of surface movement in the selected area.Sophisticated algorithms in Sentry decrease scan noise and improve accuracy. Sentry data is stored in a reduced format to allow for quick analysis and processing.Time lapse videos and other reporting outputs are easily created. The original laser scan data can be exported to Maptek I-Site Studio to calculate volumes, generate surface models and conduct geotechnical analysis.“We’ve thought hard about operational workflows and the need for flexibility alongside a safe, remote sensing solution,” added Kalatzis. “You can leave the Sentry laptop in the field and control the system remotely to set new zones for monitoring. Or bring the data back to the office for further analysis and watch movement in real time.“Sentry can be used to monitor multiple areas at specific intervals. Operations can also deploy the I-Site laser scanner for other site survey applications.”Maptek Sentry will be available from November 2014. It will complement the I-Site 8820 laser scanner and version 5.0 of I-Site Studio software, in Maptek’s line up of decision support technology.