Nova Scotia union gives notice of charter challenge of contentious labour bill

Nova Scotia's largest public sector union has given notice to the province that it intends to challenge a contentious labour bill in court.

The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union says it had filed a notice of intended action against Bill 148, which legislates a wage pattern on 75,000 public sector workers, strips the long service award from all new employees retroactive to April 2015, and freezes it for all previous employees to the same date.

Global News says the notice was sent to provincial lawyer Edward Gores on Wednesday.

The notice says the union intends to ask the province's Supreme Court to rule the entire bill unconstitutional, saying the government violated the union members' rights to freedom of association and freedom of expression.

The law, passed in December 2015, was proclaimed last week, and the government said it would ask the courts to test the constitutionality of selected sections of the bill.

NSGEU president Jason MacLean says the partial review has prompted union court action now, rather than waiting for the outcome of the constitutional test.

With files from Global News.