Alberta’s nurses have a new collective bargaining agreement, which includes more mental-health support as the coronavirus pandemic drags on.
In addition to more psychological and mental-health supports, the deal includes the creation of a union-employer workload advisory committee, $5 million a year toward recruitment and retention strategies in rural and remote areas and $2.5 million a year for relocation assistance.
The vote of 130 affected United Nurses of Alberta members was 87 per cent in favour of the four-year deal that includes a 4.25 per cent pay bump over the course of the contract. The contract is retroactive to 2020 and ends on March 31, 2024.
Meanwhile, the union representing Sobeys Inc. warehouse workers in Ontario says it’s ratified a four-year contract with “massive wage increases,” as well as a big boost in registered retirement savings plan matching contributions. The grocer, owned by Empire Co. Ltd., will double its RRSP contribution to five per cent over four years and add a sixth week of vacation at 26 years of seniority.
Unifor says the agreement covering more than 500 workers at the distribution centre in Whitby, Ont. also includes a full-time pay increase of 19.5 per cent over four years, including $2.74 per hour or 11.3 per cent immediately, for employees with 8,000 or more hours of service.
Part-time wages will increase $7 to $14 per hour over four years with junior employees getting an immediate $7-per-hour increase to earn the same hourly rate as full-time workers. The immediate start rate increases $3.10 per hour for full time and $7 per per hour for part time. Signing bonuses of between $1,000 and $2,000 will be paid to those with 2,000 or more hours of service.
The new collective agreement expiring Feb. 28, 2026, was ratified Jan. 27 by 84 per cent of those who voted.