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SYDNEY, N.S. – Home support workers in New Waterford have ratified a new three-year contract that gives them major improvements.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) National Representative and Home Care Co-ordinator Jacquie Bramwell says, “Bargaining with this employer has been very good. They’ve recognized that home support workers have been treated differently than other health care workers. Some of those inequities have now been addressed.”

Highlights of the new contract include:

  • Wage increases that will take the workers to $14.75 an hour by March 2007
  • Breakthrough language on hours of work, a traditional problem area in this sector, that guarantees 7 hours pay within 9.5 hours for all full-time workers
  • A guarantee of all scheduled hours paid within a week for part-time workers
  • Improvements to the cost-sharing of benefits to 65-35
  • An availability allowance of .25 cents an hour starting November 2006
  • A WCB wage top-up

In addition, for the first time this predominantly female workforce will receive a top-up of wages while on maternity leave.

Bramwell says, “CUPE is extremely disappointed, however, that the provincial government has reintroduced an ‘increment-based’ wage scale. Employees will now have to work five years to make the top wage, in sharp contrast with hospital and nursing home workers.”

Bramwell says CUPE will now take this settlement and use it as a template for the four other home support locals across the province that have not reached deals.

For information:

Roberta Hickman
CUPE Local 3986 president
(902) 849-3301 (h)

Jacquie Bramwell
CUPE national representative
(902) 565-9736 (cell)

John McCracken
CUPE communications representative
(902) 222-8457 (Cell)