Staff and Management at Points West Living Cold Lake have finally reached an agreement after negotiations dating back to 2015, and ending a lockout that had been in place since December.
“These negotiations have been among the most difficult and problematic our union has dealt with to date,” said Alberta Union of Provincial Employees President Guy Smith.
“These brave members risked everything to stand up for themselves and the residents they care so much about. They fought hard for an agreement that puts quality of care first and after a lockout lasting 190 days, have a contract that takes a positive step toward real improvements to care.
“They have inspired me and many, many others. I am tremendously proud of them,” Smith said.
The collective agreement, which expires at the end of 2019, contains an agreement prohibiting Points West from contracting out, recognizes concerns regarding workload and short staffing, and will bring wages close to industry standard by the end of the contract. Staff will return to work July 4.
AUPE represents close to 40 nursing care and general support members at the 54-bed facility. They voted to join the union in March 2015.
Alberta Minister of Labour Christina Gray released a statement expressing her satisfaction that an agreement had been reached.
“I am very pleased to learn that the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees and Points West Living Ltd. have reached a collective agreement at the Cold Lake supportive living facility with the support and assistance of mediator Rick Wilson and the Alberta Labour Relations Board.
“I am proud that the new labour relations system in Alberta carefully balances the rights of the workers and the employer, while encouraging both parties to engage in a fair collective bargaining process.
“While this was clearly a very tough negotiation for all parties involved, both employees and the employer should be congratulated for coming back to the table and reaching an agreement that provides the foundation for an ongoing bargaining relationship and ensures the delivery of continuing care in the community of Cold Lake.”