Nursing COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can a Nurse Practitioner be reassigned?

Yes. Nurse Practitioners can be reassigned as per the reassignment language of the collective agreement.


Q2: I am currently on maternity leave; can I be mandated back to work early?

Under the Maternity Article of the collective agreement there would have to be mutual agreement between the employer and employee for an early return to work.


Q3: What is the new protocol on masks?

The mask protocols can differ from worksite to worksite, for specific information you can contact your Employee Relations Officer.


Q4: I currently work in a COVID unit, could I float to a non-COVID unit?

No, a member should not work between a non-COVID to a COVID unit.


Q5: How much notice will I be given if my Unit closes?

If the Unit closing is part of the employer’s response to the Pandemic and it does not include a loss of employment the employer does not need to give notice.


Q6: What are the rules around working in two different work sites?

NSGEU continues to work out the rules of two different work sites with your employer. If you have specific concerns please contact the Union directly or your Employee Relations Officer.


Q7: I work with Public Health will we be moving to a 6-week schedule?

If you are part of a COVID team, you will move to a 6-week smoothing schedule.


Q8: If my shift changes by an hour is that a short shift change?

Under the Nursing agreement, a short shift change applies when both the start and end times change. A new schedule with a longer shift but same start time would not be a short notice shift change.


Q9: Will we be getting any incentive pay for working in a COVID unit?

Currently, the employer is not offering any incentives.


Q10: I have a family member that I live with who has health issues. Will my employer cover the cost for me to stay in a hotel?

NSGEU is currently in discussion how to support self-isolation of workers from their family members.


Q11: What is ‘smoothing’ and how does it work?

Smoothing is language used in the collective agreement that allows an employer to average your weekly hours over a cycle to match your regular by- weekly pay. This will means that some weeks you will work in excess of regular hours and other weeks work less. NSGEU has requested that the employer supply a six-week work cycle.


Q12: What are the overtime provisions during the COVID outbreak?

The overtime provisions of your collective agreement continue to remain the same and will apply, unchanged, during the outbreak.


Q13: When a patient goes AWOL are they allowed to return to their unit?

An AWOL patient can still access the services of the health authority; each individual situation needs to be discussed with your immediate supervisor.


Q14: I am immunocompromised, what policy or procedures are there to protect me at work?

If you have a concern about your personal health and safety, you need to discuss this with your immediate supervisor. If you are not satisfied with their response, please contact NSGEU or your Employee Relations Officer for advice.

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