Saguenay retirement home workers do not ratify agreement, negotiations continue

Union Leader Sylvie Nelson, president of the SQEES-FTQ, representing workers in senior homes, speaks at a news conference, Friday, July 10, 2020 in Quebec City. Seven Chartwell senior homes are on strike. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

Workers at a Saguenay retirement home have rejected the terms of an agreement which ended a major strike of some 500 workers who walked off the job in July.

Five-hundred workers, mainly orderlies, walked off the job in seven Chartwell Group retirement homes on July 10. Their main demand was to reach $15 per hour as a base wage, and a yearly increase of $1 per hour for a three-year contract.

In early August, negotiations began between the employer and union representatives. The parties reached an agreement in principle to increase wages to $15, however the union received only part of the $1 yearly increase.

The strikes were called off, but not all workers agreed on the terms.

Staff at the Villa Jonquiere retirement home in Saguenay have not ratified the agreement, meaning negotiations will continue, according to the Quebec Union of Service Employees in a Wednesday announcement.

The agreement was ratified by workers in the Villa Saguenay and Villa Chicoutimi residences.

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 16, 2020. 

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