Statutory Holiday Policy Grievance Victory for Nurses at NSHA

Good afternoon,

We wanted to advise you of a significant policy grievance that was filed by the NSGEU on behalf of all nurses. The outcome of the grievance is very positive for our members.

Compensation for Work on a Holiday

We first filed a Policy Grievance on Statutory Holidays (Article 18.05 Compensation for Work on a Holiday) on July 21st, 2015. The union and employer (NSHA) met with Mediator/Arbitrator Bruce Outhouse on February 9th and October 26th, 2017 to mediate the grievance. Unfortunately, it was an unsuccessful mediation and it proceeded to arbitration on May 23rd, 24th and 25th, 2018. After waiting twenty months on the decision, we are pleased to announce that the grievance was upheld. Here is a copy of the full decision and Mr. Outhouse’s conclusion is below.

Presently, the majority of units that are doing the 4/5 off rotation have their Stats built into their schedule. For nurses that do not, you should now be able to build your Stats into the working schedule. In addition, for short notice Stat requests for time off, there is now the requirement of the employer to make a reasonable effort to attempt to fill the shift with part-time, casual or Nursing Resource Team (NRT) staff.

On units where there is an over-complement of staff on a shift, nurses should be able to request time off using their Stat time and have the shift off upon the request, without waiting until 5 a.m./p.m. prior to the commencement of the shift.

Please note: This decision only applies to those who have actually worked the Stat holiday and are trying to obtain time off in lieu, as per the provision outlined below.


Prohibiting nurses who work on self-scheduling units from requesting any stats as part of the schedule is a violation of Article 18.05(a)(ii), save in exceptional circumstances or during the summer blackout period is in violation of Article 18.05(a)(ii).

Refusing to use available part-time, NRT and casual nurses to cover stat leave on units where they are qualified to do the work violates Article 18.05(a)(ii)

Use of the 5 o’clock rule as the exclusive or principle means of granting stat leave on a unit violates 18.05(a)(ii) save in exceptional circumstances where a unit is chronically understaffed due to circumstances which are beyond the Employer’s control

18.05 Compensation for Work on a Holiday

 (a) Where an employee is regularly scheduled to work, in accordance with Article 14, and her regularly scheduled day of work falls on a paid holiday, as defined in Article 18.01, she shall receive compensation equal to two and one-half (2½) times her regular rate of pay as follows:

(i) compensation at one and one-half (1½) times her regular rate of pay, including the holiday pay, for the hours worked on the holiday; and

(ii) time off with pay in lieu of the holiday on an hour-for-hour basis at a mutually acceptable time prior to the end of the second calendar month immediately following the month in which the holiday fell. 

 (b) Where time off with pay in lieu of the holiday has not been granted in accordance with Article 18.05(a)(ii), compensation shall be granted at the employee’s regular rate of pay for those hours worked on the holiday.

If you have any questions regarding the grievance settlement, please do not hesitate to contact your ERO or call the LRC at 902-424-4063 (1-877-556-7438).

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