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Nova Scotia Crown attorneys reach tentative contract agreement with province

Perry Borden, president of the Nova Scotia Crown Attorneys’ Association, speaks with reporters outside Province House on Wednesday morning.
Perry Borden, president of the Nova Scotia Crown Attorneys’ Association, speaks with reporters outside Province House in October. - Ryan Taplin
HALIFAX, N.S. —

Nova Scotia's Crown prosecutors have reached a tentative contract agreement with the province.

The Nova Scotia Crown Attorney's Association announced the deal in a news release on Thursday afternoon.

Association president Perry Borden could not discuss details of the tentative agreement but did say leadership is recommending the pact be accepted.

"We're going to have a ratification vote in mid-January," Borden said in a telephone interview on Thursday. "(It's) something that we are going to be recommending our members, but I can't say 100 per cent if members are going to endorse it or not."

Labour peace between the Crowns and the province seemed unlikely in October, when Premier Stephen McNeil's governing Liberals passed legislation taking away their right to arbitration and imposing a seven per cent wage increase over four years when the prosecutors were originally asking for 17 as a starting position. But the bill was not proclaimed into law at the time and Justice Minister Mark Furey committed to re-opening negotiations after the prosecutors staged a strike in protest to the introduction of the bill.

Borden said the Crowns are happy to reach an agreement after the autumn animosity.

"We are a long ways from where we were in October, that's for sure," he said.

"You have to remember, as I think I've said in various press releases, we weren't going to (allow the province to) use Bill 203 as a way to strong-arm us or force us into an agreement that the government wanted us to take. This was some quid pro quo and I think it's an equitable agreement for all sides."

The NSCAA represents 100 Crown attorneys through 18 offices across the province.

Their previous contract expired at the end of March.

Representatives for the Department of Justice were not immediately available for comment.

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