Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.
Lethbridge Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 408 working at St. Michaels Nursing Home have won significant wage gains with a new collective agreement that recognizes the need to raise womens wages.

Housekeeping and food service workers will see an increase of eleven per cent at the end of the new contract raising the lowest paid employee from $9.82 per hour to $10.95 per hour. After a year on the job the same worker will get $12.05 per hour.

Other CUPE members at St. Michaels will see a seven per cent raise over the same period. The new contract takes effect in January and goes to March 2004.

This is a good package all around with this seven per cent increase after years of cuts and low wages, said CUPE Local 408 president Kevin Dragland. But the new contract is particularly good for staff in housekeeping and food services. The staff in these occupational groups is overwhelmingly women. Their eleven per cent wage increase goes a long way to ending a low wage ghetto, he said.

The wages between staff at St. Michaels and the hospital for people doing the same job are comparable with the exception of the staff in housekeeping and food services.

This contract takes a significant step towards equity for these employees but there is still a ways to go. Staff in housekeeping and food services will still make less per hour than workers doing the same job at the hospital. You can be sure we will continue to work to close the gap until we have achieved fairness, concluded Dragland.


CUPE is Canada’s largest union with over half a million women and men who provide public services. In Alberta, CUPEs 31,000 members work in health care, municipalities, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, emergency medical services, social services and casinos. Visit our CUPE website for more information cupealberta.ab.ca.

For further information:
Pam Beattie, CUPE Communications
(780) 484-7644 or (780) 288-1230 (cellular)
Kevin Dragland CUPE 408 president
(403) 382-6122