LPN Reclassification Arbitration Update

Arbitration was held on September 7th for our LPN wage parity and retroactivity grievances on behalf of our Nova Scotia Health LPNs, ORTs, and CCRAs. To clarify, these were grievances filed for ORTs and the CCRAs in Local 101 (the former CDHA), as well as LPNs and CCRAs in Locals 104, 193, and 195 (PH, CC, AD).

All LPNs who work for Nova Scotia Health (NSH) have received wage parity except for your colleagues who work as Continuing Care Referral Assistants (CCRAs). As per the government’s promise in August 2020 that all public sector-employed LPNs will receive the 12 per cent increase, the union argued that the employer failed to provide this increase to CCRAs, despite the fact that the employer agrees they have to be LPNs to do the work.

As you may remember from our last update on May 25th, 2021: “We had attempted to negotiate an adjournment of just the retroactivity piece to be heard at a later date by one arbitrator for all unions representing nurses if the employer consented to move forward without delay on the issue of CCRA wage parity (the only outstanding LPN classification to not receive wage parity to date). The employer refused.”

Although they initially refused, NSGEU’s legal counsel presented to the arbitrator on September 7th that the employer already signed an agreement on January 26th, 2021, which saw the ORT’s receive wage parity with LPNs across the province. So the Employer has already effectively agreed to the grievances being heard together (see language below):

Paragraph 5 of the agreement: “The Parties acknowledge that the Unions have active grievances claiming a right of LPNs to a wage increase retroactive to March 17, 2014. The Parties agree that from the date of this Agreement the ORTs are LPNs and that any claim to a wage increase other than that described herein shall be governed by the outcome of grievances filed by the Unions on Behalf of LPNs.”

It is the intention of NSGEU to have this matter heard by one arbitrator with all unions. We will let you know when we have dates for that arbitration.

We are hopeful for a positive outcome for a 12 per cent increase for our CCRA LPNs and we appreciate your patience on this matter. It can take some time for an arbitration result.

For our LPNs at the IWK, we have separate arbitration dates for your grievance file regarding retroactivity. Those are set for February 8th, 9th and 10th, 2022.

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