OWEN SOUND, ON, July 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Personal support workers with the
Grey-Bruce Victorian Order of Nurses (VON), represented by Local 289 of
the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, have voted to ratify their
first collective agreement.
"It's always a milestone when OPSEU members achieve their first
collective agreement," said the union's president, Warren (Smokey)
Thomas. "We look forward to building on this contract in subsequent
rounds of bargaining over the years ahead."
The 36 workers voted 87 per cent in favour of strike action in May in
the event the two sides could not reach a deal. A tentative agreement
was struck on July 17, with staff approving the deal in a vote this
VON staff will see improvements in wages and working conditions as part
of a two-year deal which is retroactive to April 2011, when workers
voted to join OPSEU.
With a total wage increase of approximately 5.1 per cent, the top rate
for personal support workers moves from $13.56 to $14.25 per hour over
the life of the contract.
For part-time workers, who make up about 90 per cent of the unit, the
deal provides a six per cent bonus in lieu of pension and benefits.
With the pay-in-lieu increased, the top part-time rate for those not
in the pension or benefit plan moves to more than $15 an hour.
The deal provides for a signing bonus of $100 for all regular employees.
"We made some good progress towards the wages our members need and
deserve," said Diane Wark, chair of the bargaining team and Local 289
Notwithstanding gains in compensation and benefits, wages for personal
support staff in Grey-Bruce still lag behind OPSEU levels for similar
work in other areas of the province. The local considers this a
realistic first step in the process of catch-up.
For further information:
David Cox, OPSEU staff representative, 519-372-5776