Loyalist College janitors’ new contract includes pension, sick days

Janitors working at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ont. have a new ratified contract that includes a pension plan, sick days and a wage increase.

The employees, represented by the Services Employees International Union Local 2 and working for the food services company Compass Group Canada Ltd., entered bargaining with major concerns around the lack of sick days and low wages, according to a press release from the union.

Previously, they had no employer-provided sick days, only those provided by the province. Under the new agreement, they have two sick days, which can also be used as personal days, wrote Assya Moustaqim-Barrette, the union’s communications coordinator, in an email to Benefits Canada.

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In terms of the wage increase, employees were previously paid $14.75 an hour. The hourly rate will rise $0.25 an hour and will increase gradually year by year until it reaches $15.70/hour on Jan. 1, 2022.

And, beginning on July 1, 2022, all eligible employees will be enrolled in the Multi-Sector Pension Plan, which was established in 2001 by the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the SEIU after the unions observed a lack of pension coverage in smaller, primarily female dominated workplaces. Under the plan, employees will contribute one per cent of pay with a one per cent match by Compass Group.

The employees are looking forward to the improved working conditions as they continue preparing the campus for the return of students, noted the release. “This really gives me peace of mind. It feels great to have sick days, better pay and some retirement security,” said Tina Hyderman, a janitor working at Loyalist College.

At press time, Compass Group didn’t respond to Benefits Canada‘s request for a comment.

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