HALIFAX -- Halifax police, in a legal position to strike since Friday, have called a meeting for later today to discuss strike plans worked out over the weekend by their union executive.
A walkout by the 197 constables and corporals who belong to the Halifax Police Patrolmen's Association would leave police chief Fitzgerald Fry, his deputy and 77 officers and non-commissioned officers to patrol the city of 120,000.
The meeting was set to begin about 9 p.m. EST.
In past police strikes in Nova Scotia, RCMP reinforcements have been provided by the provincial attorney-general. Authorities said contingency plans had been made against a walkout but did not disclose the number of Mounties involved.
Conciliation talks with the policemen broke off five weeks ago with wages, hours of work, medical plans and other issues unresolved.
The union sought a 50-percent wage raise over three years, to increase the annual salary of a first-class constable to $30,000 from the current $20,000.
The city's last reported offer was a 37-percent increase, which would take a constable's annual pay to $26,500.
The union also sought a change from 8-hour shifts to 12 hours, proposing a work week of three days with four days off.
The patrolmen's contract dispute was being closely watched by the 77 officers and NCOs who would remain on duty. They agreed in their 1979-80 contract to waive the right to strike by negotiating a straight percentage increase over salaries and benefits given to a first-class constable.
Halifax police settled their 1980 contract last year just hours before a strike was to begin.
The police have been in a legal position to strike since April 17, after a mandatory 40-day waiting period expired followed delivery of a conciliator's report.
Another threatened police strike in Nova Scotia was averted over the weekend in Sydney, where 67 union policemen ratified a two-year contract with the city Friday. The package was accepted by city council at a special Saturday meeting.