CAW Members Ratify First Contract at LaHave Manor

March 8, 2013, 10:35 AM EST

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CAW members at LaHave Manor near Bridgewater have unanimously ratified a new three-year collective agreement that provides strong wage increases and premium pay gains as well as first time provisions respecting seniority, job security and posting rights.

Voting for the new agreement took place on March 7.

CAW National Representative Rick Rose commended the 65 members at LaHave Manor for their resolve during negotiations for this first contract after lengthy delays in the certification process in 2012.

"Despite the challenge of negotiating a first collective agreement in a long established workplace, our bargaining committee was successful in achieving major improvements," said Rose. "We made gains in key areas and have built a strong foundation for future agreements."

In addition to incremental increases in all classifications to meet industry standards, wages will increase by 2 per cent, 2.5 per cent and 3 percent over the life of the three-year agreement. Workers will also get a shift premium of $1.50 per hour when they work nights.

Other provisions in the first contract include lieu time for statutory holidays, sick leave, group insurance and pension plans.

"I never imagined that we could get a great deal like this," said Stacy Harvey, CAW bargaining committee member at LaHave. "Since we voted to join the CAW, we finally have the rights and protections that have been needed for so long and an amazing collective agreement to back us up."

CAW members at LaHave provide long-term care and other health-related services. LaHave workers won union certification through the Nova Scotia Labour Board in October 2012 following a series of hearings to determine the scope of the bargaining unit.

The CAW represents over 10,000 workers across Nova Scotia, including in health care, shipbuilding, aerospace, retail stores, and others. 

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