Alexander Muir Retirement Home Workers Secure Wage Gains, Language Improvements
Newmarket, Ontario—Employees of Chartwell Alexander Muir Retirement Residence in Newmarket ratified a collective agreement with 93 percent voting in favour of the new three-year contract.
Approximately 50 employees work at the home and are represented by Healthcare and Service Workers Union, CLAC Local 304. Previously, the employees had been represented by two other unions over the years, but made the switch to CLAC Local 304 in October 2018. This is their first contract negotiated by their new union.
Along with general wage increases of six percent over the term, employees secured premiums for weekend, evening, and night shifts. They also maintained their sick days bank, which was an important goal for the employees heading into negotiations.
Another key goal for employees was clearer language around job postings and responses to requests for days off in-lieu-of-benefits and vacation. The previous contracts negotiated by the employees’ former unions had left definitions for full-time and part-time positions vacant. This allowed the employer to move positions around. The new agreement ends this practise by providing clear definitions of what full- and part-time positions are and including them in the master schedule. Now, employees will no longer have to wait months for a response to their request for days off.
“When we sat down at the bargaining table, I knew we had a lot to accomplish,” says Stacy Kellar, a steward and member of the union bargaining committee. “I had no idea where we were going to start. We had already gone through two unions previously, and now we we’re on our third. Our other two unions never gave us the support and education that CLAC has given us. I cannot wait to move forward with our new contract and work with our CLAC representatives to make our home better.”