CUPE wins public sector rates at private nursing facility

Breakthrough contract with Age Care achieves parity with AHS wage rates 

CALGARY – A breakthrough round of collective bargaining between the Canadian Union of Public Employees and Age Care Incorporated has given employees at a private Calgary long term care facility wages and working conditions on par with facilities operated by Alberta Health Services.

CUPE Alberta President Marle Roberts explained that the agreement is significant because it’s been difficult for Alberta unions to get private long term care operators to pay similar wages to those paid by the public sector. 

“Our position has always been that private operators should not be able to collect tax dollars, pay lower wages, and pocket the difference,” said Roberts. “Better paid workers result in better service for seniors, better run facilities, and better outcomes for patients.” 

The agreement, negotiated with the help of a mediator, gives employees 10.9% wage increases between now and 2015, doubled weekend premiums, increased RRSP contributions, and provides better vision care coverage.  The agreement covers 160 people working in Auxiliary Nursing positions. 

“Auxiliary Nursing staff in other facilities have suffered strikes and lockouts and still not achieved these wage rates,” said Roberts. “I’m proud that CUPE has accomplished this, and we look forward to carrying this achievement to other long term care employees in the future.” 

Contact: Lou Arab, Communications Representative