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New contract shows CUPE gets a better deal for long term care workers

GRANDE PRAIRIE - A group of employees who recently left the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) for the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) have learned CUPE gets better deals for its members.

About 80 employees of the Grande Prairie Care Centre left AUPE two years ago after members became frustrated with poor service and poorer contract provisions.

This week, they ratified a contract negotiated by CUPE that gives the employees wage increases of between 15-21% in the first year, followed by 3% increases in the second year.

The agreement also improves night shift wages by $0.75/hour, weekend wages by $0.25, increases in the number of hours in which these premium wages apply, and increases in overtime pay from 1.5 to twice the regular salaries.

“Not only is this wage increase a huge improvement upon what AUPE negotiated for these employees, it sets a bar that other employees in the long term care sector can strive for,” said CUPE Alberta President D’Arcy Lanovaz.

Lanovaz said CUPE is making strides in the long-term care and nursing home sector, noting that Alberta’s Auditor General has said low wages in the sector are contributing to poor conditions in seniors’ homes.

“It’s slow going, but we have had some success in convincing employers that it is in everyone’s interest to have happy, well paid employees looking after Alberta seniors,” said Lanovaz. “CUPE has been able to negotiate some of the first pension plans ever for this sector, and contracts like the one at Grande Prairie go a long way to addressing the low wage issues raised by the Auditor General.”


D’Arcy Lanovaz
President, CUPE Alberta

Lou Arab
Communications Representative

For more information about CUPE Alberta, visit www.alberta.cupe.ca