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Collective Bargaining Update

On November 9 and 10, your SEIU Healthcare bargaining team met with CarePartners to resume bargaining. However, after several attempts at negotiating an agreement it was clear that the parties are too far apart. The bargaining team was given a mandate; increase wages, increase travel allowance, improve benefits, and develop opportunities for retirement savings. These are just some of the very important issues that we have been trying to improve at the bargaining table.

By Sunday afternoon, the union expressed a firm position on wages and providing members with a fair opportunity to gain increases on a wage grid. The union wants members who have been capped at $16.50 an hour for several years to gain wage increases based on their accrued seniority. The bargaining team wants members who have been capped at $19.00 for several years to gain the ability to go beyond that amount and earn a wage increase.

CarePartners was not interested in our demands and held firm on their concessions and small wage increases. They also asked the conciliation officer for a “No Board” which in 17-21 days can allow either party to go on strike or the employer can conduct a lock-out.

No Board Report: A report filed by the conciliator from the Ministry of Labour if the process of mediation bargaining with conciliation fails. Filing the report
triggers a 17-day (or more depending on the date the report is filed) cooling-off period before a strike or lockout deadline. When this deadline passes, the union can vote for a strike and/or the employer can lock out members.

Lock-Out: This is when your employer “locks out” bargaining employees from work. In this case, the employer would stop providing employees with clients.

Strike: This is when the union has a strike vote mandate and requests employees to engage in a work stoppage.

As it stands, the union will not be taking members out on strike nor have we been informed of a lock-out from CarePartners, so we encourage members to continue providing the quality care they provide every day. As we get closer to the expiry of the “No Board” period, we will continue to update members. The bargaining team believes this is a scare tactic by CarePartners to put pressure on the bargaining team and the members. However, we will take all cautionary measures to ensure we provide members with communication as we move along in this process.

We will soon be starting the next phase of our campaign. Please continue to share and engage in the campaign as much as possible. Without your support, we have little power at the bargaining table. It’s our time to take a stand and demand fair wages for your hard work.

Home care is the care of the future and your services will be in demand, as they are now, the bargaining team believes this is our best time to fight!

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