Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union seeks equal acknowledgement & compensation for all LPNs

(Wednesday June 17, 2020 – Halifax) The Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union (NSNU) is seeking immediate action and full acknowledgement and compensation for all licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in the province, regardless of where they work.

Following a hefty monetary award and arbitrated recognition of an expanded scope of practice rendered in favour of a 2014 grievance filed by the Nova Scotia Government and General employees Union (NSGEU) on behalf of LPNs in the former Central District Health Authority, the NSNU is demanding the same treatment for LPNs they represent.

NSGEU argued that LPNs were doing work above their pay grade and deserved to be reclassified. Other health care unions have made the same argument but, unlike the NSGEU, did not have language in their contracts to grieve job reclassification. Thousands of LPNs represented by four health care unions, including the NSGEU, were not included in the arbitrated award.

“This is a great first step in the right direction. LPNs deserve to have their hard work acknowledged and fairly compensated. The next step is to appreciate that all LPNs, in all sectors are working just as hard and are equally deserving,” says Janet Hazelton, president of the NSNU. 

Hazelton says that, while the award is very important and gives full credit to the NSGEU for opening this door, LPNs across Nova Scotia are doing the same work. Any disparity of their professional contributions or compensation is egregious.

“Nurses are the backbone of an already fragile health care system – from Yarmouth to Cape Breton. To have inequities of any kind, especially during a pandemic, sets us back and demoralizes nurses. This simply won’t be tolerated.”

The Nurses’ Union wants government, Nova Scotia Health Authority and all others who employ LPNs, like long term care and community care, to address the matter as quickly as possible so that nurses can get on with caring for patients, while feeling respected and valued.                      

CFNU Canadian Labour Congress