Acute Health Care: Update on New Interpretation of Overtime Language

Good afternoon,

As you all know, the NSHA and IWK have a new interpretation of overtime compensation for all health care workers. This interpretation is not a result of negotiations and at no time has the NSGEU agreed with it.

Essentially, both employers have decided that overtime will be paid based on hours actually worked, and not on hours paid (see below for that this means to you). This is not fair, this isn’t right and in the end, it certainly does nothing to improve the quality of care that all Nova Scotian’s deserve.

The NSGEU has filed a policy grievance and we have brought this issue directly to the Minister of Labour Relations Mark Furey and the Minister of Health and Wellness Randy Delorey. I firmly believe Minister Furey, as a former shift worker himself, understands the issue and the impact it will have on our front line workers.

However, in the interim, each of you as individuals have a choice. Each of you as an individual has the right to refuse overtime where you do not believe you are being compensated properly, and are therefore free to refuse overtime shifts and to tell your manager that you don’t accept working these shifts because it isn’t worth it to you to work beyond your scheduled hours at straight time. Remember these hours are yours: if you choose to work, that’s extra time away from your family and friends.

If the employer does not have the proper number of personnel to staff our health care system, then it’s up to the NSHA and IWK to compensate you for giving up your personal time.

If you have further questions or concerns about this matter, please contact us. Keep an eye on your email for further updates from us on this important issue.

In Solidarity,

Jason MacLean

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