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CUPE members at Montfort Hospital have won a substantial wage adjustment for registered practical nurses (RPNs) who went from being amongst the lowest paid (56th on the list), to among the top ten in Ontario. Members of CUPE 4721 had been attempting to bargain for almost two years and were working without a contract.

Despite the long process, we’re happy with the way things turned out. The employees showed tremendous patience,” says CUPE 4721 President Marc LaFrance. “Over the past two years, the frustration felt by members was palpable. During a membership meeting, they voted unanimously in favor of holding a protest to voice their discontent.”

  • The workers expressed their frustration and unfair treatment through video.

In the end, an arbitrator issued an award that gives CUPE 4721 members the same improvements to their collective agreement as were reached by hospital workers throughout Ontario. 

Members learned the details of their new contract which includes a wage adjustment for RPNs; two per cent wage increase in each of the four years; paid medical certificates when required by the Hospital; improved vacation; higher shift and weekend premiums; and improvements to insured benefits.

I really hope that our employer realizes that central bargaining (OCHU) is a model established in Ontario that arbitrators use when issuing their decision,” says LaFrance. “There is no reason why the next time around we should be forced to wait two years after our Ontario counterparts settle before starting to negotiate.”

CUPE Local 4721 represents almost 850 members who work as orderlies, registered practical nurses, technologists and technicians, respiratory therapists, clerks, porters, dietary aides, pharmacy technicians, physiotherapy assistants, as well as in housekeeping, trades, and sterilization.