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Long-term care workers at the Eastholme Home for the Aged, in Powassan, Ontario, were pleased to finally have an up-to-date collective agreement, after their memorandum of settlement was ratified by management of the home on April 21, 2011. The workers’ last collective agreement had expired in December, 2008.

Our members waited anxiously for the results of the freely negotiated collective agreement, following a long and difficult negotiation process,” said Amanda Farrow, president of Local 1339 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

The collective agreement includes wage increases of 3 per cent for 2009, 2 per cent for 2010, and 2.5 per cent for 2011.

My members have been without a contract since December, 2008, and they’ve felt tired and burdened with the rising cost of living,” said Farrow. “Gaining a new collective agreement is a small victory for workers who dedicate themselves every day to ensure the needs of residents are met, and they are well taken care of.” 

Last fall the workers hosted a rally for 3.5 hours of standard care, to raise awareness of the provincial government’s failure to establish adequate minimum care standards. “Seniors have worked their entire lives building our communities with their blood, sweat and tears. As caregivers, we struggle to maintain the highest level of care, and we will continue our struggle to improve the public services we deliver and value for our community.”