Seniors care workers waiting to vote on deal
About 350 seniors care workers are still waiting to vote on a new employment contract with Michener Hill Extendicare.
In early July, Alberta Union of Provincial Employees served Extendicare Canada Inc. with a 72-hour strike notice.
However, job action was delayed by Alberta Human Services Minister Dave Hancock, who established a Disputes Inquiry Board to extend negotiations.
The board was to recommend a settlement if Extendicare and AUPE couldn’t reach a collective agreement within 45 days with the help of a third party.
Hearings with the board took place Aug. 7, 8 and 9 to discuss serious work issues — seniority, layoff wages, holidays, sick time and other issues.
The AUPE bargaining committee must still meet to review the recommendations before presenting them to members.
If members vote to accept the recommendations, mediation will star on outstanding issues like hours of work, postings, definitions and more. If an agreement is not reached, the issues will move to arbitration which will be final and binding.
If members reject the recommendations, it will set the stage for job action.
AUPE members at Extendicare include licensed practical nurses, personal care aides, dietary and housekeeping staff.
They are among 1,200 AUPE members at eight Extendicare job sites who opted to strike in what was being called the largest legal seniors care strike in Alberta’s history.