More than 110 workers at Paramed Home Health Care in the Ottawa Valley have ratified a new three-year contract, more than three weeks after walking off the job in a fight for improved wages and benefits.
“I’m pleased that our members have ratified their new contract,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) which represents the workers. “But there would have been no need for a work stoppage had their international parent company, Extendicare, directed its subsidiary to bargain seriously from the start. Clearly this is one employer which had no interest in the impact a strike would have on their elderly and infirm clients.”
Striking employees will begin returning to work by the end of this week. Paramed’s home care clients in Renfrew County will see the return of their regular caregivers over the next few months.
Workers at Paramed had been working without a contract for almost two years. Under terms of the new deal, most unionized employees will see an annual general wage increase in the range of 1.4 per cent. Improvements were also gained in mile allowance and the establishment of a new scheduling committee.
The new contract is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2013.
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