Courtland Nursing Home Workers Win Wage Increases

August 19, 2011, 4:10 PM EST


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In a significant victory for CAW Local 302 members who work at a Courtland, Ontario nursing home owned and operated by Caressant Care, an arbitrator has awarded strong wage increases retroactive to February 2010.

Arbitrator David Starkman awarded a 2.35 per cent wage increase effective February 1, 2010 and a further 2.25 per cent wage increase effective February 1, 2011. In addition he awarded an increase in shift premiums.

CAW Local 302 represents 50 full-time and part-time workers at the nursing home in Courtland, located in southwestern Ontario. The membership includes RPNs, PSW's, cooks, dietary and laundry aides and activity personnel.   

CAW Local 302 President Nancy McMurphy said while it will always be our preference to negotiate our collective agreements "I'm extremely pleased that yet again we have an arbitrator refusing to listen to the employer's nonsensical arguments around the provincial "wage restraint" policy addressed in Bill 16."

"The members working in our Long Term Care facilities provide an invaluable service to the residents and simply want to be adequately compensated and respected for the care that they provide," McMurphy said.

CAW National Representative Robert Buchanan said the award is a significant victory for this group of workers, especially given that the employer had refused to bargain after the passage of Bill 16 in Ontario, which froze wages over two years for some non union groups of provincial workers.

"Our union has never advocated resorting to interest arbitration and we shouldn't have been forced into interest arbitration in this case, but the arbitrator has come in support of our position," said Buchanan.

"This award really does provide a significant victory for our Courtland members," said Buchanan.

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