Brockville – Workers at Chartwell Wedgewood Retirement Community have voted overwhelmingly to become the latest members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).
Included among the 55 newly unionized staff are registered practical nurses, personal support workers, housekeeping staff, kitchen and serving staff, spa personnel, and an activities co-ordinator. Wages and a more consistent application of policy figured among the concerns that led them to choose OPSEU.
Joan Corradetti, chair of OPSEU’s Long-Term Care Sector, noted that Wedgewood staff had been seeking union representation even before the home was bought last May by Chartwell, which owns 175 high-end retirement facilities across Canada.
“These workers had had enough of their subsistence wages, which were low even for an industry known for its poor levels of compensation,” said Corradetti. “And in light of the inconsistent application of policy, they were seeking a voice in the workplace that would help ensure the best possible care and security for residents.
“I didn’t hear one voice against joining OPSEU,” Corradetti continued. “There was a clear consensus that this was absolutely the right thing to do.”
The staff at Wedgewood Retirement join thousands of other long-term care and retirement home workers OPSEU is proud to represent. President Warren (Smokey) Thomas was delighted to hear that even more workers in the sector had decided to put their trust in OPSEU.
“One of the perks of leading a union is knowing that you’re improving the quality of life for working people in a very concrete way – and not only the workers themselves, but the communities, like Brockville, in which they live.
“I couldn’t be happier for our new members at Wedgewood Retirement and thank them for their vote of confidence,” Thomas added. “I can assure them we’ll be working very hard to help them get the best possible first contract.”
For more information: Joan Corradetti, 647-539-5939