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BRANDON Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) who work at the Hillcrest Place Nursing Home last night voted in favour of strike action to back their demand for an improved wage package from their private employer.

“Our members wages are falling farther and farther behind other nursing homes, particularly public sector homes,” said Phyllis Denbow, President of CUPE Local 2526. “Yet our employer, Mel Fages, just gave Hillcrests nurses an increase that amounts to more than twice what hes offering us.”

Fages recently gave nurses a three-year agreement with wage increases of 5 %, 3 % and 3 %. His last offer to CUPE members at a meeting with a conciliation officer in February was 3 %, 2 %, and 2 %. CUPE Staff Rep Wayne Smith said the difference amounts to an increase of about 30 cents an hour for union members compared to about 80 to 90 cents an hour for nurses.

“The work these employees do is just as valuable to nursing home residents on a day-to-day basis,” said Smith. “They deserve better than second class treatment from their employer.”

Smith said Fages exceeded government guidelines for the nurses wage increase but the private employer has told CUPE workers that he wont offer them more unless the provincial government increases his funding.

The CUPE members work as personal care aides, laundry, housekeeping and dietary employees. Local 2526 has 100 members who work at Hillcrest Place Nursing Home. Their contract with Fages expired April 30th last year.

For more information, please contact:
Phyllis Denbow, President, CUPE Local 2526
Hillcrest Place Nursing Home, Brandon
Ph: 727-8740 (Home)
Wayne Smith, CUPE Staff Representative
Brandon office: 725-8881

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