Media Release: LPNs in Former CDHA Receive Pay Increase

After a six-year struggle, Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who work at former CDHA locations will finally see fair recognition for the work they do.

Arbitrator Lorraine Lafferty issued a consent award that is effective today, June 15th. This award concludes a long-standing classification review of the LPNs who work in former CDHA positions represented by the NSGEU.

The Lafferty award will see all NSGEU LPNs who work in locations covered by the former CDHA receive a 12 per cent pay increase retroactive for any hours worked back to March 17, 2014.

NSGEU President Jason MacLean says that the award is significant and important:

“We are thrilled that this long process has finally concluded with a significant wage increase retroactive to 2014,” MacLean said.

“The union and a very committed group of LPNs would not give up. In the end, this is a very important victory for Licensed Practical Nurses and begins to show respect for the expanded roles they play in our health care system.”

Back in 2014, the NSGEU formally initiated the reclassification process on behalf of all LPNs who worked in the former CDHA. With the assistance of a core group of LPNs who served as committee members, helping the union gather the necessary information from frontline workers and speak to the ways in which the LPNs role has evolved and changed, Arbitrator Bruce Outhouse finally determined last Fall that the role of the LPN had been substantially altered.

The union had to go to arbitration yet again to have another Arbitrator determine the appropriate corresponding monetary increase. That process took place last week, during two days of mediation/arbitration on Wednesday, June 10th and Thursday, June 11th at NSGEU offices.

Six years and two arbitration decisions later, we achieved a Consent Award from Ms. Lafferty. A consent award means both parties agreed to Ms. Lafferty’s conclusions.

The award only applies to NSGEU LPNs who work in locations that fall under the jurisdiction of the former CDHA. That is because the original request for a review was filed under their collective agreement back in 2014. That collective agreement was the only one that allowed for the Joint Job Evaluation process.

The Award also ensures any NSGEU LPN who worked for the former CDHA – including anyone who has resigned, retired or took a position with another health authority or employer – will receive retro pay in the amount of 12 per cent back to March 17th, 2014, provided they apply in writing to the NSHA within thirty days of the award date.

The award will also be pensionable. This means those affected LPNs enrolled in CDHA pension plans since 2014 will see improvements in their pensions now or at the time of their retirement.

“For many years, our LPNs have dutifully shouldered more responsibilities and have had very little extra to show for these efforts,” said MacLean, “Effective today, that changes.”

“I want to thank all of the LPNs who participated in the reclassification efforts for their tireless efforts and advocacy on behalf of all of your colleagues, and for all of the LPNs who have waited so patiently for this day.”

Wage parity has been a consistent practice in health care in Nova Scotia for more than 25 years. The NSGEU will now advocate that the provincial government extend the 12 per cent wage increase immediately to LPNs across the province.

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The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union represents over 31,000 women and men who provide quality public services Nova Scotians count on every day.
For more information, please contact:
Holly Fraughton, NSGEU Communications Officer, 902-471-1781 (cell) 

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