Chilliwack health care workers have first contract

News release

Fifty-two employees at Waverly of Chilliwack, a private intermediate, multi-level health care facility, are going to see a lot more money on their next pay cheques. Their benefits will also take a giant leap forward under a binding arbitration award handed down by arbitrator Vince Reddy on June 26, 2000.

The workers, care aides, cooks, registered nurses and dietary, laundry and housekeeping aides who care for more than 50 seniors, were certified with the Hospital Employees’ Union on January 28, 1999. This is their first collective agreement.

The average increases are between 11 and 18.3 per cent for the first year. “Those wage increases reflect a real inequity in the amount of money these workers were being paid,” says HEU assistant secretary-business manager Zorica Bosancic.

The new contract achieves benefits that were nonexistent for Waverly workers before this collective agreement: sick leave, compassionate leave and special leave, for instance. Their vacations have increased from the bare minimum required by law to three weeks to start, with an additional week every five years.

Those who work in the evening, at night and on the weekends will now be able to collect a shift differential; unthinkable before this collective agreement. Also new is the 100 per cent employer-paid long term disability and group life insurance. From no pension plan at all, the employer will now pay a two per cent match into employee RRSPs.

The agreement is in effect as of June 26, 2000. It expires on March 31, 2005, and there are wage re-openers on April 1 of 2002, 2003 and 2004.

“This contract gives the Waverly workers the wages and benefits they deserve for providing a valuable service to their community,” says Bosancic.