TORONTO, Ont. Long-term care workers at Extendicare nursing homes in Toronto, Kapuskasing, Sudbury, Timmins, New Lisgard, Haileybury, Cobalt (Tri-Town), Oshawa and Ottawa, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), have won wage increases ranging from 9 to 13 per cent over three years.
This will give wage increases of over 3% a year to this essential, but often under-appreciated health care service in our communities, said Jim Flynn, CUPE co-ordinator for long-term care workers in Ontario. CUPE was also successful in protecting sick leave provisions and fighting concessions demanded by Extendicare management.
CUPE represents 1160 workers in eight homes covered by the agreement. The workers include nurses, health care aides, cooks, and maintenance workers. Eight CUPE locals participated in a co-ordinated bargaining process that led to the agreement.
Extendicare, Ontarios largest provider of for-profit long-term care, tried unsuccessfully to attack the benefits of the workers who care for the elderly in facilities across the province. According to Extendicares own financial reports, the increased funding they received from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care in the fall of 2004 contributed substantially to tripling of fourth quarter profits that year.
CUPE continues to call on the provincial government to enforce standards in the industry, especially with respect to patient staffing ratios, and strict monitoring of for-profit providers.
Our members provide essential services to people in our communities whove reached a point in their lives where they depend very much on our members to meet their needs and improve their quality of life, said Flynn. Im happy we were able to achieve decent improvements in the wages of people who dedicate their lives to helping others.
For further information, please contact:
Jim Flynn, CUPE LTC Coordinator, CUPE Ottawa Office: - 613-237-0115
Cora-Lee Skanes, CUPE National Representative, CUPE Sudbury Office: - 705-674-7557
Jo-Ann Breton, CUPE National Representative, CUPE North Bay Office: - 705-474-9765
Anne Healy, CUPE LTC Researcher, CUPE Ontario Regional Office: - 416-292-3999