Over six hundred health-care workers awarded unprecedented wage and benefit increases

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Port of Thunder BayTHUNDER BAY – “Over six hundred health-care workers from three City of Thunder Bay Homes for the Aged long-term care homes have been awarded unprecedented wage and benefit increases in a time when some unionized members are signing zero wage increases and concessions,” stated CAW Local 229 in a statement issued today.

The Canadian Autoworkers Union members from Pioneer Ridge, Dawson Court and Grandview Lodge, three long-term care homes operated by the City of Thunder Bay, received 6% wage increases, including retro-activity, wage adjustment to the RPN and RAI classifications of $0.25 per hour and an increase to vacation entitlement in an award last week.

“The group was able bargain excellent improvements to the language in their collective agreements including seniority, vacations, sick leave and closure agreement language,” said President of CAW Local 229 Kari Jefford.

“The current bargaining environment is the most challenging I have ever experienced. Bill 16, legislation introduced in 2010 has really tied the hands of employers who receive transfer payments. The legislation was supposed to freeze wages and all monetary proposals for non union workers in the public sector and any sector where companies received transfer funds. The message to the labour unions was that employers were going to be able to bargain freely with unionized workers but the province warned employers that if they bargained increases the province would not transfer the money to pay for it and the underlying threat to pull back funding. This has been a very long process, this collective agreement expired on June 30, 2010 and we just received the award on October 25, 2011. We have been bargaining this agreement for well over a year. This agreement will expire June 30, 2013.”

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