Seniors facilities workers reach contract agreement

Job action has been avoided at Innisfail’s Sunset Manor and Innisfail Country Manor.

Job action has been avoided at Innisfail’s Sunset Manor and Innisfail Country Manor.

Workers at the seniors facilities voted late last week in favour of a collective agreement, the first since the workforce unionized under the Alberta Union of Public Employees last May.

A mediated settlement for the local chapter and owner Chantelle Management Ltd. was reached on Dec. 19 and ratified by local chapter members on Dec. 30.

However, Chantelle rejected the deal at the time.

Labour representatives for the workers argued that staff were getting paid much less than the industry standard for private, for-profit seniors homes.

AUPE vice-president Carrie-Lynn Rusznak said the deal is close to that proposed by a mediator. That agreement called for an eight per cent pay increase over three years, plus a benefits plan with employer contributions.

“The members are all thrilled we’ve been able to reach this . . . with Chantelle management,” said Rusznak on Monday.

“I’m glad that we were able to do it without a strike vote because that would have really disrupted the lives of the seniors in that facility and that is not fair to them.”

Sunset Manor and Innisfail Country Manor includes a 102-suite supportive living facility and a 57-suite independent living facility. It is partially funded by the province.

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