Mediation hits a roadblock

On April 5 and 6, mediation continued with little progress. Optima Living did propose to extend the length of the collective agreement from three years to four years (with a 0.75-per-cent wage increase in the additional, fourth year) but otherwise tabled the same wage offers and rollbacks.

Employer’s wage offer:

  • 2015 – 0 per cent
  • 2016 – 0.75 per cent
  • 2017 – 0.75 per cent
  • 2018 – 0.75 per cent

Employer’s rollbacks to other items:

  • Reduced hours of work
  • Reduced employer contributions to the RRSP from 9 per cent to 3 per cent
  • Reduced night shift differentials from $5.00/hour to $3.50/hour
  • Deleting named holidays super stat pay (2X) for Christmas and August Civic
  • Reduced sick leave credit accrual from 1.5 working days to 0.75
  • Reduced sick leave maximum credit from 120 days to 90 days
  • Reduced bereavement leave from 5 to 4 days
  • Deleting education leave, special leave and terminal care leave
  • Deleting articles for uniforms, extended work day, employment insurance premium reductions and professional fees
  • Deleting staffing workload letter of understanding
  • Changing the benefits reimbursement and coverage schedules
  • Deleting flexible spending account
  • Reduced health spending account reimbursement from $600 to $300 annually.

These rollbacks move bargaining backward and are an attack on your quality of life and the quality care residents receive. You know your worth, and your bargaining team is committed to continuing the push for an agreement that reflects it.

Bargaining in Bad Faith Complaint

Earlier this year, Optima Living threatened to lay off our workers during bargaining, so we filed a complaint to the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) against them for bargaining in bad faith.

The Employer also claims they cannot afford your collective agreement. As part of our ALRB complaint, we asked to review the finances of the Employer, but they refuse to disclose relevant financial information.

We’ve been attending hearings at the ALRB, and while the employer and your team agreed to delay those meetings in order to focus on bargaining, the employer continues to hold off on scheduling dates to resume the hearings.

Optima Living continues to show no respect for the important work you do. Their actions at work, at the bargaining table and at the ALRB highlight just how important it is for us to secure strong collective agreement language and remain focused on our priority items, such as contracting out and industry-standard compensation.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our bargaining team. Your input is valued.


Rod Kusiek 780-603-0531
Maureen Simms 780-603-3526
Suzanne Malo 780-603-2040


John Wevers, Negotiator, 780-238-4767,
Jaime Urbina, Organizer, 403-506-8893,
Celia Shea, Communications, 780-720-8122,