CUPE 5441 has ratified a first collective agreement for 33 Spiritual Care Practitioners at Unity Health Toronto.

Rev. Pamela Lucas, a member of the bargaining committee, said she was pleased to reach a first collective agreement following amalgamation of three separate hospitals under the UHT umbrella.

“We are thankful that a fruitful bargaining process resulted in a freely negotiated agreement,” she said. “We achieved substantial gains for our members that underscores the value of our work and the support we offer patients, their families and hospital staff.”

The deal includes wage harmonization that brings all workers up to the highest wage rate of the three hospitals, in addition to increases in vacation allotment and various premiums.

The Spiritual Care Practitioners, or Chaplains, provide compassionate emotional and spiritual care for patients and hospital staff members.

“The Spiritual Care Practitioners have been an integral part of the hospital team during the pandemic and this collective agreement is a reflection of that,” said Daniel Callaghan, President of CUPE 5441. “We look forward to continue working with the employer to advance the interests of our members, and by extension the patients who rely on them. The conditions of work in health care are the conditions of care.”