Nova Scotia’s healthcare unions had a long overdue opportunity to present to the provincial government’s Standing Committee on Health today, about how we can fix our long-term care sector.

(Remember when we used to have a functioning legislature?)

Go to the 47 minute mark to hear CUPE SCFP researcher Govind Rao talk about the desperate need for improved staffing ratios.

CUPE Nova Scotia represents 5,700 frontline workers in LTC, making them, far and away, the largest union in this sector.

NSGEU Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union Unifor Canada Holly Fraughton Colleen Reynolds Coleen Logan

Go to the 47-minute mark to hear CUPE Researcher Govind Rao talk about the desperate need for improved staffing ratios in long term care. His remarks were made to the Legislative Standing Committee on Health.


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 .

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.