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HALIFAX Workers employed by Crothall Services Canada, the private contractor that provides cleaning services for the Victoria General site of the Queen Elizabeth II earn higher salaries then their Nova Scotia Government Employees Union counterparts. CUPE members also receive a one hundred percent (100%) employer paid benefits package. Thats according to Larry Power, a National Representative of the Canadian Union of Public Employees who represents Crothall employees, members of CUPE Local 2761.

Power says, “The NSGEUs comments in the local media this week are nothing short of misleading. Technically, NSGEU members may make slightly more per hour then our members but they work less hours per week.”

Powers comments are in response to claims made by the NSGEU that if housekeeping jobs at the QEII were to be contracted out its members would receive less pay and benefits than they currently receive under the NSGEU collective agreement with the QEII.

“According to the recent media reports, an NSGEU housekeeper earns an average of $11.00 per hour for a 37.5 hour work week,” said Power. “That amounts to a salary of $21,145 per year. The average CUPE housekeeper earns $10.61 per hour for a 40-hour workweek. That amounts to a salary of $22,069 per year, significantly higher,” he said.

“A one hundred percent employer paid medical and dental plan that CUPE members enjoy means less deductions and more in the pay envelope,” says Power. “NSGEU members receive a cost shared plan. Fifty percent of the premium is paid by the employer and fifty percent is paid by the employee.”

NSGEU also claims that it has a list signed by 95 percent of affected housekeeping employees opposing contracting out of housekeeping services.

“This is simply not true,” says Power, “CUPE members who represent nearly half of those affected employees at the QEII have not, nor have they ever been asked to sign any such list,” he says.

“While CUPE opposes contracting out in general,” says Power, “the V.G. site has been contracted out for many years. Contracting out is not the issue here. The issue here is protecting the jobs of CUPE members. Our members have no assurance from the QEII or NSGEU that they will even have a job if the contract is not awarded to Crothall.”

Power closed by saying that on April 8th CUPE members at the QEII voted unanimously to respect the seniority rights of NSGEU members.

“Should these members become, due to contracting out or otherwise, members of the CUPE bargaining unit then we will welcome them into CUPE with full seniority rights,” he said.

For more information please contact:
Larry Power (902) 455-4180/455-5915 (FAX)