Chatham-Kent and Sarnia workers get 13.4% increase in new contract

TORONTO, Dec. 11, 2012 /CNW/ - In a big victory for local workers, SEIU Local 1 Canada ratified a contract last Thursday for employees at the Canadian Mental Health Association Lambton Kent that will give members a 13.4% wage increase, ratified by 89% of the membership.

In 2010, the association merged its units in Chatham-Kent and Sarnia. The two units had different union representation - SEIU Local 1 Canada and OPSEU - and a representation vote took place last summer. On June 14, 2011, SEIU overwhelmingly won the vote, and union members and representatives immediately began working diligently to bargain for a new contract.

After much work, the group negotiated a 3-year agreement, with an average wage increase of 13.4%, more paid days off, and better dental and health benefits. The group accepted the contract at a ratification vote.

"It wasn't easy, but we really went to bat for our team," said Jennifer Hill, Chief Steward for the unit. "I'm so proud of the gains we've made in ensuring our members are paid fairly for the important work they do, especially in these tough economic times. They'll really go a long way in trying to make ends meet."”

The contract is just another way SEIU Local 1 Canada is fighting for working families in Ontario. For more than 70 years, SEIU has been a trailblazer in Canada's labour world.

"There have been consistent attacks on working class families. The rich are getting richer and our dollar doesn't go as far as it used to," said Sharleen Stewart, President of the SEIU Local 1 Canada. "That's why this contract is such a big deal. It illustrates just how much we can accomplish when we work together and stand for what's right."

About the Service Employees International Union Local 1 Canada

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 Canada represents more than 50,000 healthcare and community services workers in Ontario.  SEIU members work in hospitals, home care, nursing and retirement homes and community services throughout the province. SEIU Local 1 Canada has a strong track record of improving wages, benefits and working conditions for healthcare workers, as well as strengthening standards in patient and client care.

SOURCE: Service Employees International Union Local 1 Canada

For further information:

Dave Fletcher
SEIU Local 1 Canada
(905)  695-1767 ext 3139

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Service Employees International Union Local 1 Canada

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