On July 27, the 30 members of Local 627 voted 75 per cent in favour of ratifying a three-year agreement with Manitoulin Family Resources, an agency that services Manitoulin Island, Espanola and the northeast shore of Lake Huron. The previous three-year agreement had expired on June 30.
Manitoulin Family Resources operates Haven House Shelter and offers domestic violence counselling and case management services, sexual assault counselling, and a transitional and housing support program. It also provides licensed early learning and child care, as well as Best Start Hub services.
The membership negotiated a number of important gains, notably:
- annual wage increases of 1.25 per cent, 1.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent
- the addition of the August civic holiday as a designated holiday
- two half-day floaters for part-time workers (full-time staff currently receive them)
- $200 per occurrence for damage repairs to vehicles
- an increase in the work recall period from 18 to 24 months
- stronger language in terms of seniority protection, lieu hours, scheduling and harassment
Members had also been seeking a pension plan. There was extensive debate during bargaining, but the parties were unable to come to an agreement on this issue.
OPSEU Staff Representative Lorie St. Amand was pleased with the settlement and the results of the ratification vote. “I’m extremely proud of our members,” she said. “The employer has recognized the quality of their work by agreeing to a large number of our requests.”
OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas was also happy with the new collective agreement. “Local 627 is made up of a small number of very caring and hardworking women who are dedicated to helping some of the most vulnerable members in their community. This is an example of what can happen when an employer respects and values its employees, and bargains in good faith.”
Lorie St. Amand, Staff Representative
OPSEU Sudbury Regional Office
1-800-268-7376, ext. 5649