Extendicare workers to vote on new contract

The most recent collective agreement for these workers expired at the end of 2017, over 5 years ago.

Earlier this month, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees announced that the bargaining team for Locals 047 and 048 had reached a tentative agreement for workers employed with Extendicare.

Local 047 represents workers in various private continuing care centres, such as:

  • Extendicare Athabasca (both nursing and general support workers)
  • Extendicare Mayerthorpe
  • Extendicare Michener Hill (Red Deer)
  • Extendicare Holyrood (Edmonton)
  • Extendicare Eaux Claires (Edmonton)
  • Extendicare Fairmont Park (Lethbridge)
  • Extendicare Hillcrest (Calgary)
  • Extendicare Cedars Villa (Calgary)

The most recent collective agreement for these continuing care workers actually expired over 5 years ago, at the end of 2017.

This new tentative agreement, if approved, would be a 5-year agreement, expiring at the end of this year, which means workers will have to start bargaining on the next contract just 8 months from now.

When the workers vote on this tentative agreement, they will be choosing whether to accept a 5.25% base wage increase over the life of the contract:


In lieu of a wage increase in 2020, the negotiating teams settled on a one-time lump sum bonus for all hours worked that year that would be 2% of their salary.

They also agreed to a 1% one-time lump sum payment the following year for all hours worked in that year, in addition to the 1% wage increase listed above for that year.

Finally, any workers who have been with Extendicare for 20 years, will be eligible for an additional 2% increase, based on how long they’ve been employed with Extendicare.

Retroactive pay will go out to workers within 90 days following ratification.

The tentative agreement also say improvements to overtime pay. Under the previous agreement, workers were paid time and a half for the first two hours of overtime worked and double time for every hour after that on a regular scheduled work day. Same goes for overtime worked on scheduled days off, except full-time workers would’ve received double time for all hours worked on any days off after the first day.

If the new agreement is ratified, workers would get double time across the board for any overtime hours worked.

The National Truth and Reconciliation Day has been added as a “named holiday”, effective 2023. Speaking of named holidays, part-time and casual workers will be able to take, in lieu of named holidays, an extra 5% of their basic hourly rate of pay in each pay period. Previously, it had been 4.6%.

Another change, less beneficial to workers, is that under the tentative agreement, the probationary period will increase from 487.5 hours to 600 hours. Under a full-time work week of 38.75 hours, this would amount to a difference between 12.5 weeks to 15.5 weeks.

The agreement also includes language changes regarding workload, health and safety, respectful workplaces, discipline and dismissal, and the grievance procedure.

Voting on the tentative agreement will occur mostly tomorrow, except in Mayerthorpe, which will holding a vote today and tomorrow. You can find information on voting locations and times on the AUPE website.

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By Kim Siever

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

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