Nova Scotia government is stalling on a bill that would guarantee workers' compensation to emergency responders who develop post-traumatic stress disorder.
Halifax (23 March 2015) —The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE), representing a range of workers who are emergency responders (police, social workers, correctional workers, firefighters, registered nurses and more), is encouraging its members to support changes to workers' compensation that would aid these workers.
Highly stressful work environment
The nature of their work as emergency responders makes these workers vulnerable to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Unfortunately, these emergency responders aren’t receiving the supports they need when they develop PTSD as a result of their working environment.
Draft legislation introduced to ensure compensation for emergency responders
In October 2014, Nova Scotia MLA David Wilson introduced legislation to allow emergency responders to be automatically covered by workers’ compensation. This would provide for time off to get help without worrying about how to make ends meet. The legislation can be viewed here.
It is a solid piece of legislation that would have supported the workers who deliver valuable services to Nova Scotians.
The provincial government did not allow the bill to proceed in the fall, but said they would form an all-party Legislative Committee to explore this issue. To date, it has not done this. The Ministers of Labour and Health have also refused to meet with MLA Dave Wilson to continue the discussion.
The bill is still on the books, and the Nova Scotia NDP has created a campaign to put pressure on the government to pass this important piece of legislation in the spring session. The campaign includes a petition and a Facebook campaign.
The NSGEU/NUPGE is encouraging its members to join in the campaign to put pressure on the government to enact this important piece of legislation that will give emergency responders the support they need, when they need it.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 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