CCRA Update: Judge Orders Matter Be Re-Heard

In November 2021, the NSGEU received an arbitration decision that would see Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who work as Continuing Care Referral Assistants (CCRAs) receive the same 12 per cent increase that was awarded to our LPNs in June of 2020 on a go-forward basis.

The union was preparing to move forward to fight for retro, as well, when we received word that Nova Scotia Health planned to appeal the Arbitrator’s decision to award CCRAs parity with LPNs to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

The matter was heard by the Supreme Court in July 2022. The Union argued that the decision was reasonable.

The Supreme Court issued its decision on May 16. Unfortunately, it sided with NSH. The decision is posted here

The Judge ruled that the original arbitrator did not provide justification for her finding. The judge did reject a number of other challenges to the Arbitration award made by NSH and has ordered that the matter should be reheard by another arbitrator.

The Union was faced with the choice to proceed back to arbitration as ordered by the Judge or appeal the Judge’s decision to the Court of Appeal. Either path will lead to some delay, unfortunately.

The Union has had its legal counsel review the decision and has quickly concluded that it has concerns with the Supreme Court decision and will now appeal that decision to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal

In the meantime, the union will continue to pursue a satisfactory remedy for the approximately 50 members who are impacted by this unjust application of an award. The Union is disappointed that the NSH talks about the desperate need to recruit and retain employees on one hand and on the other is paying lawyers to fight against fair increases.

The Union’s view is that it is unreasonable and unfair for NSH to pay workers less when they are required by NSH to hold the same level of education and training.

We remain committed to fighting for a fair resolve on this issue and will keep you updated on any new developments as they occur.

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