They go to work each day to care for the most vulnerable Albertans. It’s hard work, the importance of which is not reflected in the pay and benefits they receive. Their employers are notoriously stingy and prefer hiring casual and part-time workers, so they can avoid paying benefits. They are long-term and continuing-care workers and home care workers, and they are joining our union in droves.
Nothando Mkwananzi has worked as a Health Care Aide at Revera – The Churchill for close to fifteen years and remembers what it was like working without a union. She was a member of the bargaining committee that negotiated a new collective agreement this past summer.
The agreement provides for a 4.5% wage increase over three years and several improvements to working conditions, including employer-provided uniforms.
“These workers put themselves at risk keeping residents safe every day. The pandemic has made it clear that their working conditions directly affect the living conditions of the vulnerable people they support."
“I would like to thank our negotiating team and the members who worked hard during this past time of the pandemic,” says Mkwananzi. “It wasn’t an easy road. Everything was paralyzed due to the pandemic, but we managed to meet for negotiations virtually and we negotiated in good faith, and we achieved our goals.”
AUPE welcomed 13 new certifications in long-term/continuing/home care over the past two years, all of which are either preparing for bargaining or are already at the table, negotiating their first collective agreements.
“These workers put themselves at risk keeping residents safe every day,” says AUPE Vice-President Bobby Joe Borodey. “The pandemic has made it clear that their working conditions directly affect the living conditions of the vulnerable people they support. We applaud them for recognizing the collective strength that comes with being part of our union family and welcome them with open arms!”