Contracts settled for many HEU members working at Pro Vita sites

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About 250 HEU members - employed by Pro Vita Care Management and working at three Lower Mainland health care facilities – have recently concluded negotiations for collective agreements.

Those work sites are Villa Carital (Vancouver), MSA Manor (Abbotsford) and Carlton Gardens in Burnaby.

Pro Vita: MSA Manor

A first collective agreement for HEU workers at MSA Manor was awarded through arbitration on December 11, 2009, and is in effect until September 30, 2012.

Arbitrator Brian Foley settled the three-year contract – covering care aides, LPNs, recreation aides and recreation coordinators – with a $0.50 an hour wage increase in each of the three years, retroactive to May 1, 2009.

As of October 1, 2011, wage rates will be: care aides ($18.50), LPNs ($26.00), recreation aides ($18.00) and recreation coordinators ($23.50).

Bargaining began in February 2009 with meetings continuing through March and April. A strike vote was conducted in September, which sent the parties into mediation. The Labour Relations Board then ordered them into arbitration in October.

Pro Vita: Villa Carital

On December 15, HEU members at Villa Carital ratified a renewed collective agreement by 100 per cent. The three-year contract, retroactive to April 27, 2009, will see wages increased by $0.25 an hour in each year.

By April 2011, care aide rates will be $16.75 (starting wage), $17.75 (after 1,950 hours of work) and $18.50 (after 3,900 hours of work).

The employer also agreed to reimburse MSP premiums – a first for Pro Vita: 50 per cent immediately, 75 per cent in April 2010, and 100 per cent in April 2011.

Negotiations began in June 2009.

Pro Vita: Carlton Gardens

The union's negotiations at Carlton Gardens concluded on December 23 when HEU members voted 90 per cent in favour of ratifying a three-year contract.

The collective agreement, which expires on November 30, 2012, includes a $0.50 an hour annual wage increase, retroactive to February 16, 2009.

Effective December 1, 2011, care aides will make $18.00 an hour.

Talks began in February 2009, and continued throughout the spring. Members held a strike vote in October, and a tentative agreement was reached on December 15 during mediation.

Pro Vita Care Management Inc. is a Vancouver-based company, established in 2003, which provides contract services in long-term care, assisted living and mental health facilities. They employ about 1,000 staff at 14 different sites, including care aides, LPNs, RNs, recreation aides and rehabilitation aides.