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The 48 workers at Osborne House (Local 2348) are getting a deserved pay hike thanks to an 11th hour settlement ratified on August 4.

“Through a combination of increments in a new pay plan and the negotiated general increases, these members will see their wages increase between 30 and 49 per cent over the five years of the contract,” said CUPE rep Brian Ellis. “It goes a long way to closing the wage gap between these workers and their male counterparts at other community agencies.”

Before the negotiated increases, a gap of nearly $10,000 existed between the workers and those at other public sector non-profit organizations. For example, while an Osborne peer counsellor working with abused women earned $25,662 a year, her male counterpart at the John Howard Society working with offenders makes about $35,000.

“Its frustrating to deal with special interest groups like the Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, who tell the provincial government that public sector workers dont deserve a living wage,” said Osborne House counsellor Sheree LeClaire. “The work we do is important and we think there could have been more money there if not for their undue influence.”

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