1st Agreement ratified by members at Waterford Retirement

Back to Blog

December 9, 2019

On December 5, 2019, the 90 health care employees at Waterford Retirement Community in Ottawa secured their very first collective agreement as Union members at UFCW Local 175.

Waterford Retirement members achieve first agreementThe Union Negotiating Committee for the members at Waterford Retirement Community achieved a number of improvements for the employees. Language bargained into the agreement includes a definition of full-time work as 67.5 hours or more bi-weekly. A part-time employee working full-time hours for 26 consecutive weeks will be reclassified as full-time. As a result, and through the negotiating process, four existing part-time employees received reclassification to full-time. The agreement contains a job posting procedure which includes seniority as a factor in promotions. Plus, scheduling will now be done by seniority as well.

Currently, employees need 88 hours bi-weekly to qualify for overtime. Effective the first full month after ratification, that number will reduce to 83 hours bi-weekly. The threshold will decrease to 80 hours bi-weekly as of January 1, 2021.

All full and part-time employees who work more than 48 hours bi-weekly will be entitled to share the costs of health benefit premiums at a 50/50 split with the employer. Effective November 21, 2021, the co-pay for full-time employees will improve to be 75% employer-paid. As of February 2019, part-time employees are entitled to two paid sick days per year. Full-time employees will see their paid annual sick days increase to four effective January 1, 2020.

The Waterford Retirement Community agreement includes an additional float day for employees to take within 30 days of their birthday.

In addition, employees will benefit from improved bereavement entitlement than the previous two days for immediate family only.

This agreement establishes important Steward representation in the workplace for these employees. Additional language provides for labour-management meetings to assist in dealing with regular workplace issues, especially scheduling challenges.

Start and probationary start rates will increase by 2% in each year of the agreement term, except for Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs), Health Care Aides, and Activity Aides. RPNs received a significant wage adjustment in February 2019, and they will receive a 2% across-the-board increase in years two and three of the agreement. For Health Care and Activity Aides, their start and probationary rates rise by 2% in year one, 2% in year two, and then 2.2% across-the-board in the third year. In addition, the agreement includes the addition of three new classifications: Bus Driver, Prep Cook, and Baker. Lastly, employees receive a signing bonus following ratification of $400 for full-time, $200 for part-time, and $100 for probationary employees.

Full-time employees will now receive one uniform at the time of hire and two uniforms per year thereafter. Part-time will also receive a uniform at the time of hire and one per year to follow. Previously, new hires had to pay for their own uniforms.

The members at Waterford Retirement voted to join the Union in February 2019. Read more about that here.

Congratulations to the Union Members at Waterford Retirement Community on achieving their first collective agreement.

Union Negotiating Committee: Carmen Altidor, Cynthia Bautista, Fawzia Mohamed, and Union Rep Shannon Epp.

Read more Negotiation Updates from the Local 175 HOPE Sector! What’s HOPE? It stands for Health, Office & Professional Employees.

In health care facilities, it is the front-line workers who shoulder the most responsibility in caring for patients. Find out why Health Care workers benefit from belonging to our Union!

Learn more about recent First Contracts ratified by Members of  UFCW Locals 175 & 633. Lastly, you can also read updates from across all the sectors where members of the Local Union work.