Nova Scotia to fund equal pay for all licensed practical nurses

The provincial government has announced it will fund public sector employers to pay all licensed practical nurses (LPNs) at the same rate. Global News file

The provincial government has announced it will pay all licensed practical nurses (LPNs) at the same rate.

This victory for the Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union (NSNU) comes after two months of pushing for a universal pay increase for LPNs.

“This action ensures our commitment to wage parity of LPNs across the province and addresses issues raised by the Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union and other healthcare labour groups,” said Labour Relations Minister Mark Furey in a news release.

The annual compensation for a full-time LPN with a regular salary scale will now be $58,634, up from the current $52,707, a nearly $6,000 increase.

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In June, it was announced that all LPNs employed in former Capital District Health Authority (CDHA) positions, covered by the N.S. General Employees Union, would receive a 12 per cent increase in pay for all hours worked since March 17, 2014.

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The NSGEU argued the scope of practice and responsibilities of its members employed by the health authority in the Halifax region had been expanded, warranting a pay raise.

Following that decision, the nurses’ union demanded the same pay bump for LPNs not previously employed by CDHA.

According to the province, it will now extend the 12 per-cent increase to almost 2,600 additional LPNs across the public sector effective June 11, 2020.

Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union'
Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union

“All LPNs do the same important work, and deserve the same rate of pay, wherever they are employed. This is the fair and appropriate step to take, and we wanted to move forward without delay,” said Furey in the release.

Province says the annual cost of the pay increase for all LPNs, including former Capital District LPNs, will be $21.8 million.

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In addition, CDHA LPNs are receiving retroactive pay increases dating back to March 2014, which will cost $19.3 million.

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