Manitoulin hospital workers have reached a tentative new deal

MANITOULIN—Hospital workers on Manitoulin Island have joined their counterparts provincially and will be voting together on a new contract reached by their various bargaining units.

“There is a tentative agreement in place for hospital workers on Manitoulin Island, Elliot Lake and Espanola,” said Stella Yeadon of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), last Friday. She explained, “for the first time all three unions, CUPE, Unifor, and Service Employee International Union (SEIU) all came together to bargain and came to an agreement with hospital employers.” She noted the agreement was reached on the April 21-22 weekend.

Ms. Yeadon noted that the unions represent registered practical nurses (RPNs), personal support workers (PSWs), dietary, housekeeping and others. She explained the tentative deal includes a wage increase, new language on workplace violence, and no concessions. It is a four-year deal.

“As well as  the three union representatives, hospitals will have to ratify the agreement as well,” said Ms. Yeadon. She said the voting by the unions and the hospitals is expected to take place by the end of May.

“Yes, we are optimistic the agreement will be ratified,” said Ms. Yeadon, who pointed out the agreement, with central bargaining, affects about 75,000 Ontario hospital workers whose three unions formed a unique alliance in provincial negotiations that has resulted in a tentative agreement with hospital employers.