New Deal at Marshall Gowland Manor in Sarnia, Ontario

July 12, 2011, 12:56 PM EST

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CAW members at Marshall Gowland Manor Nursing Home have overwhelmingly ratified a new collective agreement by 95 per cent.

The three year agreement includes wage increases of 2.5 per cent in each year, benefit and scheduling improvements, as well as eliminating the lag time on sick leave eligibility.

CAW Local 302 President Nancy McMurphy said that it was the first time in a while that negotiations have not been bogged down by rhetoric about the Ontario government's Bill 16 and wage freezes for non-union workers in the public sector. "It was refreshing to have the opportunity to negotiate a collective agreement - and one of which we are very proud."

McMurphy said that in the 11 years since joining the CAW, the local union has not had one arbitrated settlement - but currently as a result of employers clinging to the non-applicable legislation, there are 20 units with their collective agreements bound up in the arbitration process (including many for-profit companies) and five more in conciliation. "This legislation has been a disaster for health care bargaining in the province and has done a great disservice to health care workers," said McMurphy.

CAW National Representative Rick Garant said that the bargaining committee was very well versed in the issues facing members and addressed these issues with great determination. "We're very pleased with the ratification results and hope that this agreement will assist other health care units across the province," said Garant.

The new agreement was reached on June 29, ratified on July 6 and covers 120 workers. Marshall Gowland Manor is owned by the County of Lambton.   


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