Coalition Urges Immediate Action for Wage Equity in Nova Scotia’s Violence-Against-Women Sector

Halifax, NS, February 26, 2024 – The Transition House Association of Nova Scotia (THANS), alongside representatives from the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), non-unionized facilities, and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), convened once more to address critical issues within the violence-against-women sector.

Following the initial gathering in November, a dedicated coalition has been established to tackle the pressing matter of wage equity for those working within the sector in Nova Scotia. Achieving wage equity is essential as transition houses in the province continue to grapple with severe staffing shortages and recruitment. 

“The disparity between the qualifications required for positions in this sector and the funding allocated by the government for wages is glaring,” stated Dawn Ferris, Executive Director of Autumn House. “Recruiting skilled staff at current wage levels has proven extremely challenging.”

Kim Cail, CUPE Provincial Coordinator, emphasized that the issue extends beyond mere recruitment and retention concerns, explaining, “Not only is an adjustment needed for recruitment and retention, the way that government funds transition houses needs a complete overhaul. Proper funding needs to be given to the shelters so they have the ability to not only properly staff them, but also to keep the lights on.” The coalition emphasizes that an increase in sustainable core funding would benefit both staff and clients alike, ensuring consistent programming and support across the province.

Chris Di Liberatore, PSAC Atlantic Regional Executive Vice President echoed these statements asserting,“Transition home staff provide critical services to women and children fleeing domestic violence, but their work has been undervalued for too long. The Provincial government needs to prioritize funding to transition homes in their upcoming budget, so that transition homes can improve wages and working conditions for these workers in the next round of collective bargaining.” With collective agreements for unionized facilities set to expire on March 31st, the coalition is steadfast in its commitment to driving substantive improvements within the sector.