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MINNEDOSA, MB – Nutrition Services workers for ARAMARK Canada Ltd. voted last week to take job action in negotiations for a new collective agreement.

The 21 workers provide dietary support in the Minnedosa Hospital and Personal Care Home.

The main issue dividing the two parties is an agreement on wage increases and new benefits.

The workers are represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees. CUPE negotiated a wage standardization agreement for other healthcare support workers in the Assiniboine Regional Health Authority (ARHA) last year.

ARAMARK, because it is a privately owned company, was not involved in that agreement.

According to Glenda Smith, CUPE National Representative, “We’re only asking for what other comparable workers are getting throughout the region.  The principle of wage standardization has been accepted across the province in all Government health facilities, and we think ARAMARK should follow the trend.”

At present, workers for ARAMARK are paid significantly less than their counterparts within the ARHA. For example, the top wage scale level for a worker with ARAMARK is the same as a starting wage for someone in a government run facility.

We have applied for conciliation (to get a Government appointed conciliator to work with the parties to find an agreement) but we are not optimistic.

We have lowered our expectations, but the members should be paid according to the standard across the province. It’s only fair,” said Smith.

If the employer does not change their position this week, the workers will stop work next Monday, October 16th.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union representing more than a half-million women and men.  In Manitoba, CUPE represents 24,000 members working in health care facilities, school divisions, municipal services, social services, child care centres, public utilities, libraries and family emergency services. About 9,000 of these members work in Manitoba’s health care system.

For information, contact:

Glenda Smith
CUPE National Representative
204 725-8888

Dennis Lewycky
CUPE Communications
204 942-0343 cell 204