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.

Without their important work, the province would not be able to keep the extremely important facilities they staff open, or the services they provide running. They, like health care workers, deserve a tangible sign of our recognition and appreciation. Adding them to the Essential Workers Program announced yesterday is the best place to start.

I look forward to further discussions on this program.


Kim Cail
Provincial Co-ordinator for CUPE at DCS-funded worksites