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Deal reached between union and Community Living

 

Amherstburg Community Living

There is a new deal in place between development workers and Community Living Essex County.


Members of CUPE Local 3137 voted 60 percent in favour of the three-year contract on Friday which will see an increase in wages, more benefits for part-time workers and overtime pay.


“I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback. Is the whole membership happy? I wouldn’t say yes. I can see some issues in the future,” said union president Paul Brennan.


Local 3137 represents about 600 development workers, both full and part-time as well as administrative staff. Brennan said that all three sectors were represented at the bargaining table.


The union has been without a contract for a year so in reality, the new deal will be in effect for two years.


A wage and benefits hike were included which Brennan says is one of the best in the province.


Perhaps one of the biggest issues for the union and its employer was working past shift, which Brennan says has been rectified.


“With our sector, it’s not a problem that’s going to go away.”


Workers who have to remain on the job past their eight-hour scheduled shift will get overtime and if they go past four hours, double-time paid.


Community Living Essex County executive director Karen Bolger said that the board of the non-profit organization is pleased to have the deal in place.


“We are thrilled we have an agreement in place, it’s a fair agreement,” said Bolger. “It’s one of the best in the province of those that have settled so far.”


It was the second tentative contract reached between the agency and the union.

Community Living Essex County started in 1961 and provides support to about 700 intellectually challenged persons and their families.


Bolger said that the non-profit organization is still short by about 60 development workers and that some of the programs that were cancelled due to Covid-19, have yet to be restarted.


“We struggle to find a solution, we need more employees.”


Community Living Essex County gets its funding primarily from the provincial government and Bolger said that with the freeze in funding, it’s going to be difficult to operate.


“We have so much to do over the next couple of years to balance the books,” she said.


Deal reached between union and Community Living

By Fred Groves


 

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