The union representing 450 employees at Domtar Corp. in Dryden, Ont. has ratified three collective agreements that include benefits and pension gains.

The agreements include several group benefits enhancements, including $100 for vision, a $200 increase for dental and orthodontics, a $10,000 increase in life insurance, $1,000 for eye surgery and improvements in short- and long-term disability coverage.

The agreements also add a third week of vacation after two years of service, improved bereavement and statutory holiday pay and a new maternity leave top-up program. Employees will receive general wage increases of $1.30 per hour in 2023, three per cent in 2024 and $1.30 per hour in 2025. In total, wages will increase between 22 per cent and 24 per cent over the term of the agreements.

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One agreement, for 225 workers represented by Unifor Local 324, also includes an additional $1,020 per year in employer pension contributions to the defined contribution plan.

Unifor also ratified an agreement for 200 employees at Post Consumer Brands in Niagara Falls, Ont. The three-year contract includes the addition of a drug benefit card for all active employees and retirees, with the exception of casual workers.

“In the past, members had to pay for their prescriptions upfront and submit the bill to get reimbursed,” says Tim McKinnon, a national representative for Unifor. “With the card, they don’t pay anything out of pocket and are covered 100 per cent for drugs on their plan.”

Employees who are pregnant will also be eligible for short-term disability if they fall ill prior to the birth of the child. “We did this so the mother could spend more time on maternity leave and not use up their pregnancy leave weeks.”

Workers will also see a 12 per cent wage increase over three years, with six per cent in the first year and three per cent in the second and third years.

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