Update for Local 047, Chapter 029
Your negotiating team is happy to announce that we have achieved a tentative agreement with the employer, based on a mediator’s report that came in this week. We had been stuck on a number of issues, and the mediator has made recommendations to bring us out of the impasse.
Details of the agreement are below. Your negotiating team is recommending that you vote yes on this agreement. Although the recommendations will not bring in everything we hoped for, they will allow us to reach a more timely settlement.
Voting will take place in-person on October 26, during the afternoon, in the Rehab room. We had previously scheduled a union meeting, so we’ll be repurposing the meeting to a vote and expanding the time. Members of the negotiating team will be present to answer any questions you have about the agreement before you vote.
- 1:00 – 4:30: Drop in voting
- 2:00 – 2:30: Information session #1
- 3:30 – 4:00: Information session #2
Details of the agreement
The mediator had weighed in on a number of key elements that we were stuck on, such as wage increases, benefits, night shift premiums, and personal leave days.
For wages, the mediator recommended an increase of one per cent retroactive to Oct. 1, 2022, followed by an additional one per cent on Oct. 1, 2023, with no wage increases for the previous years that the agreement would retroactively apply to (since Oct. 1, 2018). By the end of the agreement, our night shift premiums would also increase by 50 cents per hour, from $4 to $4.50. The mediator also recommended no personal days, but increasing our special leave days by one day for use for family illness (paid from other banks, such as vacation, banked/OT holiday etc.).
In addition to these modest increases, your negotiating team had previously bargained a number of improvements at the negotiating table. We would get rid of averaging for overtime, which would allow us to get paid overtime after full-time hours, instead of the employer averaging it out to avoid paying the premium. The employer would increase their RRSP contributions by one per cent, up to a total of three per cent matching. We would also receive a lump sum payment of one per cent on all hours worked in 2021 and 2022.
The mediator also recommended that we should receive $750 annually in a Health Spending Account—an entirely new benefit which we didn’t have before.
The big tradeoff, from our perspective, is that we would be accepting a rollback on shift overlaps for health care aides (HCAs). Currently, HCAs who work a full shift work for 7.75 hours, with the final 15 minutes being an overlap time between incoming and outgoing shifts. The employer is determined to cut this overlap—which would bring HCA full shifts down to 7.5 hours—to eliminate the 15 minutes of time where two shifts are both working. We have made clear to the employer that we believe this is a bad idea, and would negatively affect resident care, but the employer is determined to push the cut and has made clear that they will cut our shifts outside of bargaining if necessary.
In order to compensate for that cut, all workers affected by the shift cut would be given a one-time lump-sum payment—$2,000 for full-time workers and $1,500 (prorated on your FTE) for part-timers.
Under the proposed agreement, if the employer announces layoffs, workers will receive 28 days’ pay in lieu rather than 14 days. Registration fees for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) will increase by $40, to a total of $150. Your dental benefits will go from 75 per cent reimbursement to 80 per cent, and the annual dental maximum will increase from $1,000 to $2,000. A new addition of reimbursement for major dental work at 50% will also be added. We would also add National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in the agreement as a paid holiday.
We’ve also got other non-monetary improvements, including controls on payroll errors, and simplification of rules for part-timers. We’ve clarified and simplified the leaves of absence process for things like union leave, and clarified the disciplinary process.
We have attached the full proposed agreement for you to read if you choose, and you can also reach out to your negotiating team members for clarification on anything.
With all this in mind, we think that this is the best deal we can achieve in this round of bargaining. That’s why your negotiating team is encouraging you to vote yes and ratify.
Remember to tell your co-workers about the vote on Oct. 26, and to show up and vote on that day. This deal will lay the groundwork for a strong collective agreement in the next round, and future improvements.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to your negotiating team with any questions, comments, or feedback.
AUPE NEGOTIATING TEAM - CHINATOWN MULTILEVEL CARE FOUNDATION
Yanan (Anna) Zheng
AUPE RESOURCE STAFF
Merryn Edwards, Negotiations
Michelle Szalynski, Organizing
Jon Milton, Communications