Standards for Workers in Nova Scotia Not Up to Par

March 1, 2012

HALIFAX – The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Nova Scotia (CCPA-NS) released a new report today showing that standards for Nova Scotia’s non-unionized workers are well behind the standards in other provinces.

 “Workers in Nova Scotia are some of the poorest paid in Canada and this report shows that their basic conditions at work don’t fare any better,” said report co-author Larry Haiven. “If the NDP government is actually dedicated to making life better for Nova Scotia families, strengthening working conditions is one of the best and least expensive things they can do.”

The report, Labour Standards Reform in Nova Scotia: Reversing the War Against Workers, makes almost 40 recommendations for reforming the Labour Standards Code, including

  1. Implementing overtime pay after 40 hours of work in a week;
  2. Extending the Pay Equity Act to cover all workers;
  3. Increasing statutory holidays from six to nine;
  4. Increasing paid vacation from two weeks to three.

The report also recommends protection for workplace whistle-blowers, banning the use of lie detectors at work, the right of restaurant workers to keep their tips, stronger enforcement of the Code, better severance pay for laid-off workers, more and better leave availability, prorated benefits for part-timers and the right to refuse unreasonable overtime.

“All workers, regardless of whether they are union members, deserve dignity and fairness at work,” said Kyle Buott, co-author and President of the Halifax-Dartmouth District Labour Council. “The government needs to step up and protect workers from being exploited by employers. Changes to help the 68 percent of workers who are not in a union are long overdue.”  

The report is now available:


For more information or to arrange interviews in English or French, contact Christine Saulnier at (902) 477-1252 or (902) 240-0926.

The CCPA-NS is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social and economic justice.