06/13/2013 01:41 EDT | Updated 08/13/2013 05:12 EDT

Nova Scotia government gave OK for new pension plan for paramedics, premier says

HALIFAX - Premier Darrell Dexter says his government told the agency that employs Nova Scotia's paramedics that money was available to provide them a defined benefit pension plan, which was a major sticking point during contract negotiations.

Dexter says the NDP government believes it's reasonable for the paramedics to have such a pension plan because it exists for many other public sector workers and helps maintain a high-quality workforce.

The 800 paramedics recently reached a tentative agreement with Emergency Medical Care and the union executive that represents them is recommending the deal.

Dexter says he couldn't provide a figure on what the new pension plan would cost the province.

A defined benefit pension requires an employer to meet a defined payment to retirees.