EDMONTON – Details for approximately 80 nursing staff and other specialized seniors care employees’ first collective agreement with Revera Riverbend in southwest Edmonton are being released.
“The contract, written by independent third-party arbitrator, David Jones, will see wages for seniors’ nursing staff at Revera Riverbend brought in line with Alberta Health Services’ rates of pay over the life of the agreement,” said AUPE Negotiator Dale Perry.
“Jones agreed that it’s the market, not the employer, that dictates rates of pay for nursing care staff. It’s what AUPE argued all along, that these employees should be paid the industry-standard rates to ensure stability and quality care,” said Perry.
The three-year contract, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2012, will see wages for other specialized seniors care employees adjusted in the first year based on market comparators both sides presented, a 3.5-per-cent wage increase in the second year, and a 3-per-cent wage increase in the third year.
Other highlights include improvements to sick leave, shift and weekend premiums, named holidays and vacation.
“Overall, we’re satisfied with the arbitrator’s decision. It’s a good first step toward future negotiations with this employer,” said AUPE President Guy Smith.
“The decision also shows that the employer forced an unnecessary conflict and brought distress to Revera Riverbend residents, their families and the staff who care for them,” said Smith. “It could have all been avoided.”
“I’m tremendously proud of the AUPE members at Revera Riverbend who stood strong for 70 days on the line to improve the quality of care at their worksite,” Smith said. “Their efforts have been justified by the arbitrator’s decision.”
Staff at Revera Riverbend were on strike for 70 days, at the time a record length for an AUPE dispute. The strike ended in August when Human Services Minister David Hancock ordered a Public Emergency Tribunal because of concerns over inadequate care provided by replacement staff at the facility.
AUPE represents more than 80,000 working Albertans. Close to half work in public, not-for-profit and private health care.
For more information:
Dale Perry, AUPE Negotiator: 780-238-8697
Guy Smith, AUPE President: 780-265-2294
Tyler Bedford, AUPE Communications: 780-930-3406