Qualicum Beach care aides ratify collective agreement
Care aides at Qualicum Gardens have voted 81 per cent in favour of a new collective agreement with Pro Vita that provides significant wage increases and ensures a more stable care environment for resident seniors.
The tentative agreement was reached May 29, ending a strike that had lasted more than a month. The care staff – members of the Hospital Employees' Union – ratified the agreement in balloting that took place Thursday.
The four-year deal provides wage increases of more than 12.5 per cent for most workers, including a five per cent increase in the first year, retroactive to September 1, 2008.
During negotiations earlier this year, Pro Vita served notice to the operators of Qualicum Gardens that they would be terminating their subcontract on June 23 – a move that would have resulted in the layoff of the 60 care aides at the facility. Pro Vita has now rescinded that notice.
HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy says that care aides at Qualicum Gardens were very concerned about the impact that moving to a new subcontractor would have had on seniors at the facility.
"This agreement, along with Pro Vita's decision to remain at Qualicum Gardens, helps ensure continuity of care for residents," says Darcy.
"But this settlement would not have been possible without the strong support of residents' families and the community at-large. Our members are very grateful to those who spoke out for quality seniors' care."