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Nova Scotia will repeal law that led to strike by Crown attorneys

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's Liberal government is working to repeal legislation that prompted a strike last fall by the province's Crown attorneys.
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HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's Liberal government is working to repeal legislation that prompted a strike last fall by the province's Crown attorneys.

The move follows the signing of a new contract that will see prosecutors get a seven per cent pay increase over four years, retroactive to April 1, 2019.

Justice Minister Mark Furey said there will be additional pay increases for entry-level prosecutors and for senior Crown attorneys as part of the deal, which was signed on Tuesday. He said the adjustments are aimed at attracting and retaining prosecutors.

Furey acknowledged the move will have a "cost implication," but said the overall wage pattern fits with what was offered to other public servants.

"There were very productive discussions that led to the outcome so we are quite pleased," said Furey.

The prosecutors briefly walked off the job in late October in response to the introduction of Bill 203, which removed their negotiated right to binding arbitration.

They had been seeking a 17 per cent salary increase over four years during talks before the government introduced the legislation.

Furey said Wednesday that Bill 203 could be repealed in the legislature as early as Thursday. It was passed into law on Oct. 26 but was not proclaimed as talks were restarted.

Premier Stephen McNeil on Wednesday also expressed satisfaction with the deal and said he believed the legislation was a catalyst in getting it done.

"We can afford to do it," McNeil said.

Perry Borden, president of the Nova Scotia Crown Attorneys' Association, could not be reached for comment. The association's membership voted overwhelmingly in favour of the new contract in January.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2020.

 

The Canadian Press

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