Homes First shelter workers ratify collective agreement and achieve 13% wage increase!

After months of bargaining, Homes First shelter workers have voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new collective agreement!

Thanks to the solidarity of the 700+ members, and the tireless efforts of the organizing committee and the Bargaining Team, workers achieved a 13% wage increase from 2022-2024, along with a signing bonus and improvements to benefits, shift scheduling, and movement to reduce the precarious employment of temp agency staff.

“Homes First workers are on the frontlines of our city, delivering life-saving services to Toronto’s unhoused population — but some are close to the brink themselves,” said OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick. “This agreement will help our members start to catch up with the astronomical cost-of-living in the city of Toronto.”

Like most caring professions, Homes First workers do what’s considered “women’s work”, which is critically undervalued. These workers are the backbone of care for more than 2,000 people, offering housing units and emergency shelters like warming centres in addition to essential connections to services for those battling with mental health and addiction. They deserve dignity and justice.

“This one-year agreement helps us set the stage for bargaining in 2025 where we will take the opportunity to eradicate any precarity for workers and ensure a safer workplace,” added Hornick.

Local 540 is part of the OPSEU/SEFPO Community Agencies Sector, representing more than 3000 workers in community agencies from legal aid services to employment services, to shelter services for anyone who needs it and much more.