February holiday in Nova Scotia: information for PSAC members in the federal public sector

We have had many inquiries from PSAC members about Viola Desmond Day in Nova Scotia, which is coming up on February 16th, 2015.

The third Monday in February is now a provincial holiday in Nova Scotia, similar to Family day in British-Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. Prince Edward Islanders also have a provincial holiday in February called Islander Day – Manitobans, likewise, have Louis Riel Day.

Federal public sector collective agreements provide for 11 designated paid holidays, including a day which is, in the opinion of the employer, a provincial or civic holiday. Currently the civic holiday recognized by federal government employers is the first Monday in August. This means that federal public sector workers in Nova Scotia will not be granted the February provincial holiday.

However, in addition to the 11 designated paid holidays noted above, the vast majority of PSAC members employed by the federal government are also entitled to a Personal Leave day which, subject to operational requirements and appropriate notice, could be booked to coincide with the February holiday. Remember that your Personal Leave day must be used before the end of the current fiscal year (March 31) and that the granting of the leave is subject to operational requirements. Five working days’ notice is required when applying for the leave (ten for workers at CFIA).

You should know that this issue forms part of the discussions at the bargaining table. Although it will likely not be in place in time for this coming February, our (PA, SV, TC, EB and FB) bargaining teams are pushing for the inclusions of provincial holidays in February in our collective agreements.