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East Metro Youth Services members ratify first contract

March 19, 2019 at 4:19pm

More than 100 employees at East Metro Youth Services in Toronto have achieved their first collective agreement as members of UFCW Local 175.

The members, who provide mental health support and health care services to their clients, voted to join UFCW Local 175 in April 2018.

The Union Negotiating Committee worked hard to achieve a good contract for the workers at East Metro Youth Services. The parties entered into conciliation to deal with monetary and language issues that the members wanted addressed.

The three-year agreement, which members ratified on March 14, 2019, includes wage increases of 3.3% per year for all classifications working through their respective job bands. Employees at the end of their band receive a one-time lump sum equivalent to 2% of their last year’s wages. Contract workers will get a $500 lump sum payment as of ratification. Relief staff will see an increase of 50 cents per hour plus a $200 lump sum effective as of ratification.

The new contract also includes new premiums established to ensure employees receive higher rates of pay for performing higher-rated jobs. Reimbursement for personal vehicle use improves to 49 cents per kilometre, up from 45 cent. In addition, the meal allowance increases to a maximum of $40 per day.

Language written into this first contract ensures members do not lose pay when required to serve jury duty. Contract language also includes provisions for:

  • Paid bereavement leave,
  • Up to four float days,
  • Merit days based on years of service,
  • Family health days, and;
  • Sick days.

Contract employees will receive all benefits after completing 576 hours of work. In addition, Contract workers will receive enhanced vacation entitlement, and their seniority will now count toward job postings as well.

A new compensatory time program will allow employees to bank 10 hours per week of comp time and provide overtime pay after 44 hours of work per week.

Other important language achieved provides Day Treatment workers with office time to work on their reports. And, a negotiated Letter of Understanding allows for employees to have input into performance reviews and training programs.

Bereavement entitlement improves to now provide five days’ paid leave for the death of a mother or father. Members maintain their existing pension plan and employer contribution rate to the plan. They also maintained their health & welfare coverage but will benefit from the employer’s rate of contribution to the premiums for that plan increasing by 5%.

Employees also maintained their sick day program, which allows them to earn up to 18 sick days per year and accumulate up to 119 sick days in the bank. A conversion program, allowing employees to transfer 10% of their accumulated sick time into a payout every three years, also continues.

Lastly, the employer will pay $250 per year toward the Local 175 Training & Education Fund and 50% toward the cost of printing agreement booklets for the members. The employer will also pay all lost wages for negotiating committee members up to conciliation.

Union Negotiating Committee: Sacha Edey, Wajma Omer, Leslie Smith, and Union Rep Tony Nigro.

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