Long term care lead table bargaining update for CUPE members – August

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The lead table has met with the employer’s committee on April 25 and 26, May 25, June 28, July 21, and lastly on August 16.

As reported in the last update, the conciliation report was filed on July 8.

The May 25 financial offer was a three-year term with a 1.5% increase each year with an additional 1% on the last day of the contract (5.5% over three years) and an increase to shift and weekend premiums of 10 cents an hour each. There were no other financial proposals addressed and no ability for the employer’s committee to discuss anything financial beyond the “mandate” from the government. The offer was flatly rejected by your committee.

The parties met with the assistance of conciliation on July 21. The financial offer was increased slightly to correspond with the recent civil service interest arbitration award. The offer was a three-year term with a 1.5% increase in year one and year two. A 3% increase on November 1, 2022; a 0.5% increase on the last day of the agreement (6.5% over three years); and an increase to shift and weekend premiums of 10 cents an hour each, effective date of ratification. There were no other financial adjustments for any other classifications. This offer was flatly rejected.

On August 16, the parties met once again with the assistance of conciliation. The employer provided a slightly improved financial offer which remained unacceptable to the committee and did not address our bargaining priorities. The offer was rejected by the committee.

The announcement of an adjustment, outside of the bargaining process, for many CCAs (if they met stringent technical requirements applied after the announcement) was well-deserved, but it has resulted in all the other care team members feeling left out, neglected, not respected and not valued for the work they do. To date, we have not been able to convince the government that all classifications are deserving of additional wage adjustments too.

The ongoing offers that fail to adequately address adjustments for long term care workers (other than CCAs) only continue to deepen the sense of neglect and lack of respect for the valuable work these workers provide to the residents in their care.

Unfortunately, we must continue to increase the awareness and public attention on the lack of progress in bargaining by moving towards possible strike action. This is the last thing the committee and members want, it is the last thing the long term care sector needs, but the government does not yet appear to be serious about fully addressing the wage concerns in the sector.

As part of increasing that awareness and support, Shoreham Village Local 3454 (our lead table) will be having information sessions and commencing a strike vote on August 31.

A regional tour to update locals and members on the status of bargaining has been scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. as follows:

  • September 18 Yarmouth Mariner’s Center
  • September 19 Dartmouth Best Western
  • September 20 Truro Inn on Prince
  • September 21 Sydney Grand Lake Firehall

All long term care locals need to continue to work with their assigned staff representative to:

  • Complete local bargaining as soon as possible.
  • Once local bargaining is complete, or at an impasse, apply for conciliation. If you are unable to get your employer to agree to local bargaining dates, apply for conciliation.
  • Once you have applied for conciliation, you will need to negotiate an Essential Service Agreement (ESA) in accordance with Bill 37.
  • Once you complete an ESA, have your conciliation meeting (which will result in an impasse) and request the conciliation officer to file their report.
  • Strike votes will need to be taken.

Long term care members need to send a strong, clear message to the government that our concerns must be adequately addressed.

You may have heard or seen messages about a tentative agreement for “support” staff. These are references to a tentative agreement in the hospital sector and does not apply to the long term care sector.

We all deserve better!


If you have any questions, please contact the committee chairperson or staff coordinator.

Louise Riley
Chairperson, NS Long Term Care and Department of Community Services Coordinating Committee

Carl Crouse
CUPE long term care coordinator

Download a copy of this bargaining update