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WIN! Ontario health care workers awarded contract

Congratulations to our sisters and brothers at the Service Employees International Union!

The Council of Canadians at an SEIU rally

QMI reports, “An arbitrator has awarded a new contract to 4,500 Ontario personal service workers (PSWs) who went on strike in December. …PSWs work in hospitals, home care, nursing and retirement homes, and provide community services throughout the province. The workers were making between $12.50 and $15.02 an hour, and were paid 34 cents a kilometre for mileage. PSWs don’t get paid sick days and don’t have a pension, and the majority of them do not get benefits.”

“The health care workers walked off the job Dec. 11 after voting to reject an offer from their employer (the for-profit company Red Cross Care Partners), which is the largest home care agency in the province. The PSWs had been without a contract since April. …The contract turned down Nov. 23 offered them an increase of 11 cents an hour each year for four years plus another 11-cent hourly increase that would be paid once a year.”

On the first day of the strike, Council of Canadians organizing assistant Michael Butler wrote, “Council of Canadians staff, along with chapter members from Guelph, attended a rally at Queen’s Park to support Personal Support Workers who have launched a province wide strike and walked off the job today.”

Sharleen Stewart, president of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare, which represents the workers, says, “It is an improvement over the previous tentative agreement and proves that when we stand together, we can put pressure on employers and government for change.”

Further reading
SEIU statement – Personal Support Workers Awarded Improved Contract Following 2-Week Winter Strike
Council backs SEIU personal support workers strike in Ontario