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WINNIPEG CUPE members at the River East Personal Care Home have ratified a new collective agreement.

The new contract gives the 64 health care support workers a 16% wage increase over the three years of the contract. For the first time, the workers will also get pension benefits through the Health Employees Pension Plan (in the second year of the contract) and shift premiums for evening, night and weekend work.

The members were quite satisfied with the last offer, said a CUPE official. The employer and the union worked hard to find an agreement that would benefit everyone the employer, employees and residents and ensure quality care would continue.

River East Personal Care Home is privately owned and not bound by wage agreements governing public personal care homes.

The situation at the Maples Personal Care Home remains very different as 93 workers have been on strike now for over a month. According to Mark Kernaghan, CUPE National Representative, the employer at Maples has not bargained reasonably like the River East owner and therefore a prolonged strike is expected.

The Maples owners have dug in their heals and are not willing to bargain, but we know that we can achieve equitable contracts when there is respect and an honest effort by both parties, as there was at River East, said Kernaghan.

CUPE, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, represents health care support workers in a number of bargaining units across Manitoba. Almost 10,000 CUPE members work in hospitals, clinics and personal care homes. They make sure residents are kept comfortable and safe. They help doctors, nurses and specialized staff to bath, feed and move patients. Working behind the scenes, they clean and maintain Manitoba’s health care facilities.

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For information, contact:

Mark Kernaghan, National Representative, Phone: (204) 942-0343, ext. 216
Dennis Lewycky, Research/Communications Representative, Phone: 942-0343, ext. 298