Last night, MGEU members of Local 178 - St. Amant Community Residential Program capped-off a significant round of contract negotiations (which included a successful strike vote) by ratifying a new four-year agreement.
From the outset of negotiations, one of the
main priorities for the Local was attracting and retaining workers in order to
ensure quality and consistent care for St. Amant CRP clients. The new contract
includes 8% in total wage increases over the life of the agreement to help
address that problem.
The Local 178 Bargaining Committee also
negotiated retroactive pay increases going back to April 1, 2014, along with a
$0.50 per hour increase for workers with 15 years or more of continuous
service, to help retain long-time employees. Changes to the increment steps
(when members move to or from support worker and key worker classifications)
also saw significant improvements, which will have a positive effect on
recruiting and retaining workers.
The Bargaining Committee’s other main
priority in this round of negotiations was to reduce the high numbers of
mandated shifts being worked by most members. The new contract helps address
this issue by providing a Disruption Allowance (between 1.5 and 3.5 times the
regular rates of pay), while the overnight, asleep premium increases from $60
to $70. Also, scheduled shifts may no longer be altered within seven days,
unless mutually agreed upon.
Another significant improvement to the
contract will see casual employees now accrue seniority while working to reach
full-time or part-time employment.
The Local 178 Bargaining Committee’s next
step is to contact the employer and get the agreement finalized and signed
before it’s printed and distributed to members. In the meantime, members of the
Local are encouraged to update their contact information to ensure they receive a copy of the new
contract once it is available.
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