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WINNIPEG Workers at two for-profit nursing homes have won a ground-breaking pension plan and pay raise in their latest round of contract talks with the Extendicare Corporation.

The 360 workers at Oakview Place and Tuxedo Villa, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, voted in favour of a new contract yesterday. The agreement includes an 11 per cent pay increase over three years, and a pension plan funded equally by the workers and the employer.

Its the determination and resolve of these workers that won the day, says CUPE staff representative Murray Craddock. They made it very clear they werent leaving negotiations without a pension plan even if it meant walking a picket line.

The new pension plan is a first for the workers, members of CUPE Local 1475 at Oakview Place and Local 2180 at Tuxedo Villa. The pension plan brings the workers in line with nurses at the two facilities who already have a pension plan funded 50/50 with the employer.

For far too long, Extendicare had been undervaluing these dedicated, long-serving workers. This new agreement brings some justice to their wages and benefits.

Contract talks started in March of this year, and moved slowly through the spring and summer. CUPE members staged information pickets at both facilities, and had strong support from residents and their families. The workers voted overwhelmingly in favour of striking earlier this month.

The workers provide day-to-day care for nursing home residents as health care aides and support workers performing laundry, dietary, housekeeping, maintenance and activities services.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canadas largest and fastest-growing union, representing a half-million women and men across the country. In Manitoba, CUPE represents 24,000 workers in health care, education, municipalities, social services, child care, utilities, libraries and emergency services.

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For more information, contact:
Murray Craddock, CUPE Staff Representative
Phone: (204) 942-0343