First contract ratified by CareSource members at Nanaimo Seniors Village

Bargaining bulletin

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After months of hard bargaining, a 99-per cent strike mandate and the assistance of a mediator, 150 HEU CareSource members at Nanaimo Seniors Village have a first collective agreement.

Bargaining committee members Sheila Neihaus, Gladys Forsyth and Mark Brennan recommended acceptance of the contract, and 81 per cent voted in favour of ratification at a meeting on March 19.

“This has been a difficult round of negotiations for our members, but thanks to their determination and solidarity, and the tenacity of the bargaining committee, we now have a first contract that we can build on,” says HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy.

The three-year agreement has set a new standard as it contains the highest wages paid to contracted-out workers in long-term care to date. Increases are effective January 16 of 2007, 2008 and 2009.

CareSource will also implement a sick leave policy and comply with Employment Standards with regard to vacation. The contract expires on January 30, 2010.

“The members and their bargaining committee are to be congratulated for staying focused on achieving a solid first contract that ensures the facility’s residents will continue to have dedicated, skilled and experienced workers providing their care and support,” says Darcy.

The HEU members employed by CareSource and covered by the agreement are assisted living (home support) workers, recreation and care aides, and licensed practical nurses.

Negotiations began in January 2006. Mediator Stephen Rinfret was appointed under Section 55 of the B.C. Labour Relations Code in December 2006 after members voted overwhelmingly in favour of job action.