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On August 6, HEU members at Mayfair Manor in Port Coquitlam ratified their new collective agreement by a resounding 94 per cent. The HEU bargaining committee for the 57 long-term care aides, cooks, dietary aides, activity workers and housekeeping and laundry workers was successful in getting the employer to back down from their demands to include contracting out and no bumping clauses in the new collective agreement.

“With Bill 29 the facilities master agreement no longer contains protection from the contracting out of HEU work,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.”But we are winning some victories in small, private facilities just like Mayfair Manor, protecting our members’ jobs.”

The wage increase is modest at 25 cents per hour per year, but there will be lump sum payments made to employees if the Amica at Mayfair Manor reaches 92 per cent occupancy filled by non-respite residents for two continuous months. The employer will pay to each regular full-time employee on staff a lump sum of $300. Each regular part-time and casual employee on staff will receive a pro-rated amount based on the number of hours worked.

There were other significant gains made for these workers at Mayfair who provide services for over 60 residents.

The employer-paid portions of premiums for extended medical and dental plans and for life insurance are increased under the new contract. Coverage for those benefits is also improved.

Cumulative sick leave credits increase from 75 to 90 days. Christmas Day has changed from a statutory holiday to a super stat, meaning that an employee who works on that day will receive 2.5 times the regular rate plus another day off with pay. Shift premiums will increase to 50 cents per hour for evening shift, 85 cents per hour for night shift and 65 cents per hour for the weekend and working on scheduled days off earns double-time pay now.

Employees who have disciplinary documents in their files will have them removed now after 18 months. They will be paid double time for all hours worked on scheduled days off. During the first year of service, workers will earn 15 days paid vacation, 20 days paid vacation with five to 10 years, and with 10 plus years, one additional day for each year up to a maximum of 25 days.

“The workers at this private for-profit facility won a decent contract for themselves for three years,” says Allnutt. “These victories mean a lot to the people involved, but they are also important to all health care workers, proving that even in difficult times, sticking together around a bargaining table can render significant gains.”