Nova Scotia (Civil Service Commission) v Nova Scotia Government Employees Union (NSGEU)

Document Type

Arbitration Decision

Publication Date



Company Rules, Overtime, Department of Lands and Forests, Course, Entitlement, Mandatory


The Grievor, a forest technician with the Department of Lands and Forests, attended a Silviculture course at a forest ranger's school in Fredericton. His department paid the costs of attending the course. Two of the days spent attending the course were days that the Grievor would otherwise have had off. The Grievor now claims that he was entitled to be paid overtime for attending the course on the two days in question at the same rate to which he would have been entitled had he worked at his regular employment on those dates. The Employer argued that they did not consider the course mandatory; employees are free to turn down the opportunity of attending such a course. It also pointed to the Province of Nova Scotia's management manual, which stated that attendance at conferences cannot be considered to fall within the meaning of work, and hence, cannot be claimed as overtime. Since the Grievor had attended the course on his scheduled days off, the Employer had offered that his actual hours on the course during these scheduled days off should be replaced by time off, or the cash equivalent if time off was not possible. The Grievor refused this offer.


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