Sault Area Hospital Agreement Ratified
January 14, 2010, 9:10 AM EST
CAW Local 1120 members who work at the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario area hospital have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new three-year collective agreement that provides wage and benefit gains.
CAW Local 1120 represents approximately 600 workers including service workers, RPNs, and office and clerical. The office and clerical bargaining unit voted 84 per cent and the service unit 78 per cent in favour.
There were a range of wage increases, but the majority receives wage increases of two per cent each year or more. Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) receive a four per cent wage increase in each year. Skilled trades receive eight per cent over three years.
CAW national staff representative Andy Savela said "As the new hospital is a private/public partnership model it was key the union protected the integrity of the bargaining unit, including those who will be administered under the private umbrella." "The new agreement protects and preserves all the terms and conditions for all those implicated by this," Savela said.
Benefit gains include improvements in vision care as well as gains for skilled trades including a $300 tool allowance.
The agreement also provides a process to deal with the issue of RPNs who have been going through a transformation to be utilized at their full scope of practice. Local 1120 President Janice Pettalia commented "not only did we obtain a process to help facilitate this we also got RPNs compensated for it and they will finally be at parity with their peers across the region." Pettalia also noted there was a breakthrough as Personal Support Workers "were also recognized for the increased demands they are facing."