Q & A’s about the pandemic pay announcement

Do managers qualify for this program?
This program is targeted at front-line staff therefore generally management employees do not qualify. Managers who engage in front-line, hands-on care are eligible for this program. Management, Directors, Senior Directors, Executive staff, and office support staff are not eligible for this program.

 Do physicians or medical residents qualify for this program?
No, physicians and medical residents do not qualify for this program.

Do non-union staff qualify for this program?
Employees do not have to be members of a union to qualify for this program.

I have employees who work for my organization and other healthcare organizations. Are they eligible to receive the payment more than once?
No. Employees are only eligible to receive this payment once. Employees are required to sign a legal declaration confirming that they will only accept the payment from one Employer.

Will it apply to health-care workers who have not been able to work during the pandemic because they are immunocompromised?
This program is targeted to employees who worked during the pandemic. An exception is for those who did work during the four months but were placed on isolation or quarantine or COVID-19 sick leave.

What about employees on leaves (ex. WCB, maternity leave, disability, etc.)?
The employee would have needed to work during the four months to receive a partial benefit, and during all four months to receive the full benefit.

Do workers need to work the four full months to be eligible?
No. They will receive the benefit for the months in which that have worked. If they worked in one month, they would receive one month’s benefit. If they work all four months, they would be eligible for the maximum of $2,000.

Why will everyone receive the same benefit, regardless of income or time worked?
If an employee worked for one day in a month that employee would be eligible for a benefit that month. The program is designed to reduce administrative burden and does not increase based on hours of work.

Is this payment considered pensionable income?
In accordance with the Nova Scotia Employer’s Pension Plan rules this payment is not considered pensionable income.

Will this additional funding be taxable? Why?
This funding is considered income by Canada Revenue Agency and is therefore taxable. As the Employer you are required to deduct taxes from this payment.

If I have questions about this program who should I contact?
Questions related to the funding for this program can be directed to dhwccclaims@novascotia.ca .

LPN reclassification – joint statement from health care unions

To the LPN members of CUPE, NSNU, NSGEU, and Unifor

On June 15, 2020, Arbitrator Lorraine Lafferty issued a Consent Award granting an increase of 12% to the pay rates for LPNs represented by the NSGEU at the former Capital District Health Authority. The increase is retroactive to March 17, 2014.

The Consent Award does not apply to:

  • LPNs represented by any other union in Nova Scotia, or
  • LPNs represented by the NSGEU with employers other than the former CDHA.

The Consent Award was the culmination of a Review Process initiated by the NSGEU on March 17, 2014. The Review Process and subsequent grievance were pursued on behalf of LPNs who were employed by the former Capital District Health Authority. For that reason, the Consent Award only applies to LPNs from the former CDHA represented by the NSGEU.

The Review Process was part of a special provision in the NSGEU collective agreement with the former CDHA. When there were substantial changes to a position during the term of the collective agreement, the position was analyzed using the Aiken (Watson Wyatt) job evaluation system. The outcome of the Watson Wyatt analysis was the basis for achieving the higher pay rates for LPNs in this case.

Collective agreements for LPNs working for other employers or represented by other unions in 2014 did not include this type of job review process.

Regardless of the scope of the Consent Award, we recognize that all LPNs in Nova Scotia have seen an increase in their duties and responsibilities over time and hold an advanced role in patient care. We are committed to wage parity for all LPNs, whether they work in acute care, long-term care or community care.

We are prepared to fight to  achieve wage parity for LPNs through any means possible, including filing grievances, mounting campaigns, and meeting with government and employers. Each of the unions will keep their members informed of what is planned.

We appreciate the support of our members while we work our way through this.

CUPE to pursue 12% wage increase awarded to LPNs who worked at former Capital Health locations

Louise Riley

CUPE Nova Scotia is pleased that Arbitrator Lorraine Lafferty issued a consent award yesterday to licensed practical nurses (LPN) who are members of NSGEU and will now pursue the same award for members of the Canadian Union of Employees (CUPE).

“CUPE fully intends to ensure that our members receive wage parity,” says Louise Riley, chairperson of the CUPE NS Long Term Care Coordinating Committee. “We have written to the Minister of Health and Wellness and the Health Authority, advocating for all LPNs to receive the award, regardless of their sector or their location.”

Effective June 15, 2020, this award concludes a classification review of the LPNs who work in former CDHA positions represented by the Nova Scotia General Employees Union (NSGEU).

The wage increase is retroactive for any hours worked back to March 17, 2014. LPNs eligible for the award, who were enrolled in CDHA pension plans since 2014, will also receive an increase in their pensions.

“This is a well-deserved recognition for the dedication and hard work LPNs in the province do,” says Riley. “One that all LPNs should receive and we hope that decision will be made in the very near future.”

CUPE represents LPNs working in acute care, long term care and home support sectors across Nova Scotia.

CUPE Launches Long Term Care Campaign

Dear Sisters and Brothers:
Our campaign to Fix Long Term Care is formally launching this morning, with a video from Mark and some social media promotion. We’re aiming for 11:00 am EDT. We received some good media coverage last night on cbc.ca and Charles and I have already heard great feedback.
But we need to make sure that the federal government hears about it too, in big numbers. Please promote our campaign website – https://fixlongtermcare.ca/ –  ask your friends and contacts to use the site to send a letter to the Prime Minister, and ask them to share it with their networks as well.
In solidarity,
MARK HANCOCK
National President

Letter to Community Services members

May 13, 2020

Dear DCS Members:

Further to the emails I sent Saturday May 9th, I wanted to follow up with this letter as an update.

As the Premier announced the Provincial Healthcare Premium on Thursday, and we all know that DCS was left out because they do not deem you as healthcare workers, our push back began on Friday.

A media release went out on Friday, and a letter to the Premier was sent on Monday. The letter that was sent to the Premier also went to all 21 Employers yesterday with a request that they work with us lobbying government for all of you to be included in the healthcare premium. I will also be interviewed regarding this matter on 95.7 FM radio talk show on Thursday May 14th at 9:30. There have been numerous emails and conference calls between staff and the Coordinating Committee Executive to organize a plan and get a campaign up and running. I will provide more in-depth information when I have it.

Read moreLetter to Community Services members

Letter to Premier re health care worker premiums

May 8, 2020

Premier McNeil,
I am writing you to recognize the federal and provincial Essential Health Care Workers Program announced yesterday that will provide health care workers with a bonus of up to $2,000. Although CUPE appreciates the provincial government’s willingness to work together with the federal government to provide some recognition, we cannot allow this moment to pass without pointing out that this program ignores many critical members of our essential services front line. We understand that NSGEU has shared similar concerns with you.

The people who work on the front lines of Nova Scotia’s social services sector are holding our communities together through this crisis. They protect the well-being of the most vulnerable among us, and often expose themselves to significant risk in the course of their duties. The services they provide (adult residential care, rehabilitation services, and housing support work to name a few) cannot be postponed or rescheduled, and workers in DCS-funded facilities and programs have been reporting for duty with a smile, despite the risks.

Read moreLetter to Premier re health care worker premiums

Masking Protocol for DSP Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


MASKING PROTOCOL FOR DSP WORKERS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The Department of Community Services is implementing a new protocol around masking of staff working in DSP licensed facilities/homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, any staff working in or moving through areas accessed by participants will be asked to wear a procedure mask throughout their entire shift. One (1) procedure mask per shift should be provided by the service provider. An additional mask should be available if required due to soiling.

This protocol applies to residential facilities funded by the Disability Support Program (DSP) and licensed by the Minister of Community Services under the Homes for Special Care Act: Adult Residential Centres (ARC), Regional Rehabilitation Centres (RRC), Residential Care Facilities (RCFs) Small Option Homes, Developmental Residences and Group Homes.

Read moreMasking Protocol for DSP Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)