MEDIA RELEASE: Premier, Cabinet protect colleague from cost-of-living crisis

Premier Tim Houston has demonstrated once again that low-wage workers don’t matter: he has been making health care administrative professionals wait since 2019 for a raise, but he quickly intervened to ensure his colleague Karla MacFarlane wouldn’t miss out on a moment’s pay as she prepares to run for Speaker of the Legislature.

“It’s interesting that the Premier and cabinet are able to act with such urgency to ensure that a fellow politician does not go without during this time of unprecedented inflation,” said Sandra Mullen, President of NSGEU.

MacFarlane currently earns $138,281 annually. Meanwhile, members of the Health Care Administrative Professionals bargaining unit earn as little as $18 per hour.

“Where is the urgency to protect low-wage workers in this province?” asked Bev Strachan, President of CUPE Local 8920.

“This sends a clear message to our members: the Premier’s friends are the priority, not the administrative professionals who help keep our health care system running,” said Susan Gill, Unifor National Representative.

There are more than 5,000 administrative professionals working in hospitals and community care settings throughout Nova Scotia, performing critical tasks. They are the first point of contact with patients; manage registrations; control the switchboard and communications; ensure test labels are accurate; assign beds; share lab results with clinical staff; book appointments, transfers and admissions; order and receive supplies; manage payroll; and much more. These workers are represented by CUPE, NSGEU, and Unifor, who bargain together in the Council of Unions.


For more information, contact:  

Karen MacKenzie, CUPE National Representative, Lead Negotiator, 902-890-0840  

Holly Fraughton, NSGEU Communications Officer, 902-471-1781,  

Shelley Amyotte, Unifor National Communications Representative, 902-717-7491, 

Taylor Johnston, CUPE Atlantic Communications Representative, 

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