Better Wages for Continuing Care Assistants
The Province is investing approximately $65 million in health authorities, long-term care and home care to increase pay for continuing care assistants (CCAs) so they will become the highest paid in Atlantic Canada.
Wages for unionized and non-unionized CCAs at all levels in the publicly funded sector will increase by approximately 23 per cent effective Thursday, February 10, bringing the top annual salary to $48,419. For most full-time CCAs, this is an annual increase of close to $9,000 a year. Those currently at the top of their pay scale will reach this level immediately.
The continuing care sector is facing serious recruitment and retention issues with many CCAs working short-staffed under difficult conditions. This is impacting the quality and availability of care for seniors and their families.
“We’re doing everything we can to fix the system, and we’ve heard from CCAs and unions time and again that we can’t do this until we address wages for CCAs, which I was shocked to hear were the lowest in the country,” said Premier Tim Houston. “We feel the urgency and the frustration. The system needs investment, and the workers need support now. We want them to know they are heard, valued and respected.”
Those groups with collective agreements that are already settled will be adjusted upward to the new levels and those not yet settled will incorporate the new pay scales. Collective bargaining will continue, and CCAs will not have to wait until bargaining concludes to receive this increase. Details and timing of implementation will be determined by individual employers working with unions.
"Continuing care assistants deserve not only our respect and gratitude for the critically important work they do and the sacrifices they’ve made over the past two years; they also deserve to be paid more and get help and relief from more staff in their workplaces. We’re listening to their concerns, and we’re making investments to improve working conditions, hire more staff, and give them a much-needed raise in pay.”Barbara Adams, Minister of Seniors and Long-Term Care
- there are 6,700 publicly funded CCA positions in Nova Scotia, most in continuing care
- most CCAs have expired collective agreements (October 31, 2020) with an expired annual salary range between $36,529 and $39,443; the new salary range will be between $44,660 and $48,419
- the government has committed to hiring 1,400 additional CCAs
- the wage increase brings Nova Scotia to about $25 per hour at the top of the scale for CCAs in the publicly funded system
- the government is investing close to $57 million to support people working in continuing care, hire more staff, and open more beds more quickly for seniors waiting for long-term care
The overview document A Healthy Nova Scotia: Solutions for Continuing Care is available at: https://beta.novascotia.ca/documents/improving-continuing-care-investments-support-workers-and-expand-care-seniors