New deal ratified with St. Andrew’s employees

St. Andrew's Residence and Terrace in downtown Chatham. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

The staff at a retirement home in Chatham will see wage increases and benefit improvements after ratifying a new three-year collective agreement.

The Southwestern Ontario Health Care and Service Workers Union, CLAC Local 303, announced on Tuesday that employees at St. Andrew’s Residence will get a six per cent wage increase over the three-year term. They’ll also get better health benefits and sick leave.

However, the contract didn’t come easily. CLAC Local 303 said an independent arbitrator was brought in to help negotiations move forward after the parties couldn’t come to an agreement on their own.

“This was a hard-fought wage increase,” said Trish Douma, CLAC regional director. “The elected bargaining committee is in touch with the needs and priorities of their fellow members and the union was able to move quickly to arbitration.”

St. Andrew’s Residence is a 70-bed retirement home. Employees at the home have been represented by CLAC Local 303 since February 2002.