Social Services Agency Adjusts to Low Raises

Five vacation days per year added for long-service employees

According to Andrew Hardy, president of Local 1190 of CUPE, the central issue in their negotiations with the Government of New Brunswick was job security. “Cuts in public services and programs in the recent years have greatly impacted our members.” A letter of agreement on a joint job evaluation study was also signed.

The Sarnia-Lambton Children’s Aid Society was probably facing the same funding pressures that all governments and their agencies see when it settled with its professionals. So, rather than provide wage increases, all staff will have an extra week off work with pay in the first and second years and those at the top of the wage grid will have an extra week in the third and four years as well. Also in the third year, some classifications will have extra steps added to the top of the wage grid. The agency is continuing its “Happy Friday” scheme whereby employees may arrange to work seven extra hours over two weeks and receive the Friday of the third week off. Finally, a new workload management process with new thresholds has been agreed to.

At Bunge Canada in Hamilton, Ontario, wage increases are healthy at 7.0 per cent over three years and WI benefits will increase at the same rate. Other, fixed benefit maximums have also been increased. The pension plan was also improved, according to the union, but details were not available.

The Edmonton warehouse employees of Sobeys have restrained wage increases, something new for that province. Only those at the top of the wage grid will see increases other than progress through the ranks. However, the two-tier vacation plan was eliminated, providing even more incentive for job retention. As well, employees may take three unpaid days per year for family responsibilities.

The pension plan at Lantic in Vancouver, formerly Rogers Sugar, now requires a 3.0 per cent employee contribution, a new feature for this plan. However, the wage increases, at 2.75 per cent in each year, are richer than most.

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