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A new collective agreement covering workers at a private, for-profit seniors’ care facility in Richmond provides among the most competitive wages in the field and will help attract and retain skilled, experienced health workers, says the Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE).

The three-year collective agreement was ratified by a margin of 93 per cent. It provides about 70 workers at Courtyard Gardens with wage increases of one per cent a year in each of three years and includes other improvements to contract language and benefits.

Under the contract, wages for experienced housekeeping, laundry and food service staff will rise to $17.89 an hour by March, 2005 while hourly rates for health care attendants and licensed practical nurses will rise to $19.10 and $22.25 respectively.

And in acknowledgement of the culturally diverse background of staff at the facility, up to two statutory holidays can be exchanged for other religiously or culturally significant holidays.

“Our members should be very proud of the progress they’ve made in this contract,” says HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt.

“It will contribute to a stable workforce and that will benefit both the employer and most importantly, the seniors that our members care for.” Courtyard Gardens is operated by Diversicare Realty Investment Limited. In early March, HEU members ratified an new collective agreement at another of the company’s care homes - Hawthorne Park - in Kelowna.

HEU represents about 1700 workers at facilities like Courtyard Gardens that are operated on a for-profit basis and do not receive the majority of their funding from the province.


Mike Old, communications officer, 604-828-6771 (cell)