Continuing care workers win contract after 1 day

The Fort Saskatchewan workers have been without a contract for 3.5 years.

Earlier this week, Alberta Union of Public Employees published an update to negotiations for workers at Rivercrest Lodge.

The continuing care centre is a private facility located in Fort Saskatchewan and operated by Qualicare Corporation.

The most recent collective agreement for workers at Rivercrest Lodge expired at the end of March 2019. The new contract is a 5-year contract, retroactive to 1 April 2019 and expiring in March 2024.

According to the media release, AUPE’s bargaining team was able to negotiate the new contract in just one day.

Workers will receive a 2.5% wage increase for the first year of the contract, backdated to 1 April 2019. The next two years have wages frozen. Then workers will get a wage increase of 6.10–6.15% for the current year, but effective as of 1 October (rather than April). Next October, workers will get another 1.25%.

1 Apr 20192.50%
1 Apr 20200.00%
1 Apr 20210.00%
1 Oct 20226.1-6.15%
1 Oct 20231.25%

Any workers who worked in 2021 will also get a 1% lump sum payment for any hours worked that year.

Shift differentials are also getting a boost:


Workers will also be able to pyramid premium payments.

The new contract, if approved by the members, will see domestic violence leave increase from 3 days to 5 days and named holiday pay for part-time workers increase from 4% to 5%.

Sick leave for part-time worker will now increase, if approved, from 1 day per month to 1.25 days per month. Oh, and on that note, workers will be able to get reimbursed for doctor’s notes that the employer may demand if a worker calls in sick. They can claim up to only $40 though.

Oh, one more thing: the employer now recognizes National Dy for Truth and Reconciliation as a named holiday.

Keep in mind that all of this is just tentative. The membership still needs to vote on the proposal.

As of this writing, the AUPE negotiating team hadn’t yet determined a date for the vote or any details on information sessions.

If approved, however, it will be the first contract in 3.5 years. And given that the contract expires in a year and a half, there will barely be enough time after the ratification vote—assuming it’s a yes—for the bargaining team to take a break before ramping up preparation for the next contract.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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