After meeting with the employer Nov. 16 and 17, and after many compromises, a four-year tentative agreement has been reached and includes a more equitable seven step wage grid across all classifications that better reflects your worth, with general wage increases as follows:

Year 1: two-per cent wage increase
Year 2: 1.5-per cent wage increase and 25-cent-shift-premium increase for weekends and evenings
Year 3: 1.75-per cent wage increase
Year 4: 2.25-per cent wage increase

Current members will also receive a one-time, 1.75-per cent retroactive payment for all regular hours worked from Jan.1, 2017 until date of ratification (DOR).

Upon ratification, members will be placed on this grid according to the total hours they’ve worked at the Ponoka site, including those before Seasons Retirement Communities took over operations.

As you know, since bargaining began, one of our union’s main goals has been wage increases. A third of our members currently receive $14.00/hr, and 89 per cent of us do not have the stability of full-time work.

Neither of these conditions should be the reality for any worker, and you shouldn’t have to barter for better compensation, but as it was such a pertinent and important improvement to make – necessary to strengthen our union as a whole – our fight for this right required compromises.

This unfortunately meant withdrawing the rest of our union’s monetary proposals and accepting 6 paid sick days rather than 8. We also forgo an RRSP article for money on the wage grid. However, given the RRSP was only one-per cent employer matched and wouldn’t have come into effect until 2020, your bargaining committee feels this trade-off will precipitate more immediate benefits for our membership.

Nevertheless, you should be proud of the tentative agreement you achieved in your first round of bargaining with this employer. Collectively, you have lifted a weight off of your fellow workers who, if this contract is ratified, will receive equitable compensation. Going forward this will only help to strengthen our union’s resolve and solidarity.

The contract ratification vote will be held Tuesday, Dec. 5 at the Legion in Ponoka between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. We look forward to seeing you.

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact a member of your bargaining team.

Charlene Frank
Gayle Befus
Victoria Quirk
Sheri Shust

Terry Luhoway Negotiator
Farris Sobhani Organizing
Celia Shea Communications or 780-720-8122