"It is a result of the tireless work of the LPN reclassification committee and all the LPNs who acted as witnesses during the hearing." — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President
Halifax (24 Sept. 2019) — The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) has received an important decision from arbitrator Bruce Outhouse on the long-standing Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) reclassification appeal.
Outhouse has found evidence in favour of the NSGEU/NUPGE and has determined that the role of the LPN has been substantially altered since 2011. This is a significant ruling and clears an important hurdle in the union’s fight to have LPNs properly compensated for the work they do.
Difficult fight for decision
The NSGEU/NUPGE sees the ruling as a victory for all the nurses who have been fighting long and hard for this reclassification.
"It is a result of the tireless work of the LPN reclassification committee and all the LPNs who acted as witnesses during the hearing," said Jason MacLean, President of the NSGEU.
"But our fight isn’t over yet. The issues of appropriate pay and retroactivity must now be decided."
Work begins on determining appropriate salary level
With the decision that the work of LPNs has been substantially altered, the NSGEU/NUPGE and the Nova Scotia Health Authority will start discussions to determine an appropriate salary commensurate with the work duties.
"The union has been with the LPNs every step of the way, fighting for wages that properly reflect your new duties. We will see this through to the end by advocating for a fair rate of pay," said MacLean.
"If the NSGEU and the NSHA cannot come to an agreement on a fair rate of pay, the issue will need to go back to an independent arbitrator to make a final decision. This will take time; however, the NSGEU is writing to the NSHA legal counsel today to attempt to expedite this process. We will keep you up to date on any developments."
Decision was years in coming
The decision follows a grievance that was filed on behalf of LPNs employed by the former Capital District Health Authority (CDHA). The NSGEU/NUPGE had filed the grievance several years ago under the old Local 42 Health Care collective agreement in place at the CDHA. However, it will be the position by all unions representing LPNs that any changes to the rate of pay must be applied to all LPNs in the province.
MacLean wanted to take time to "thank everyone who has been involved in this process for their ongoing support and patience. This has been a long, difficult road, but we’re walking it together!"
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE