Effective Monday, all Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in former Capital District Health Authority (CDHA) positions, covered by the N.S. General Employees Union, will receive a 12 per cent increase in pay for all hours worked since March 17, 2014.
This announcement came after the nurses were issued a consent award, concluding six years of classification review for LPNs.
“For many years, our LPNs have dutifully shouldered more responsibilities and have had very little extra to show for these efforts,” union president Jason MacLean said in a press release.
In 2014, LPNs who worked for the CDHA, now taken over by the Nova Scotia Health Authority, had gone through significant changes to their roles.
When this transition happened, the NSGEU formally began the LPN reclassification process. This wasn’t determined by an arbitrator until last Fall.
Last week, the union had to go to another arbitration to determine an appropriate wage increase for LPNs, as frontline workers.
Arbitrator Lorraine Lafferty awarded NSGEU LPNs with conclusions both parties agreed to.
“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,” said MacLean in the press release.
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The consent award ensures any NSGEU LPN who worked at former CDHA locations, including those who have resigned or retired, will also receive a retroactive pay increase of 12 per cent back to March 2014.
This retroactive pay will also be pensionable, so those affected will see improvements in current or future pensions.
Nova Scotia isn’t the first province to group LPNs with registered nurses. British Columbia passed a law in 2013 that moved that province’s LPNs into the same bargaining association as nurses.
Qualifying LPNs must apply in writing to the NSHA within 30 days.
NSGEU’s press release also says wage parity has been an issue for Nova Scotia health care workers for almost three decades.
Following this victory, the union will now advocate to extend the wage raise to all LPNs in the province.