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Workers at Pioneer Ridge, Jasper Place see wage increases in new contract

Nearly 300 workers at Jasper Place and Pioneer Ridge represented by Unifor have secured 2.5 per cent increases and other benefits in a new contract with the City of Thunder Bay.

THUNDER BAY — Workers at Pioneer Ridge and Jasper Place have secured salary and benefit increases in a new collective bargaining agreement with the City of Thunder Bay.

The agreement provides for 2.5 per cent wage hikes in each of its two years for Unifor Local 229's nearly 300 members, which include support services workers, tenant counsellors and therapeutic recreationists, and Registered Practical Nurses.

The agreement includes some expansions in benefits, in areas including chiropractic and vision, as well as shift differentials, according to the city.

Unifor 229 could not be reached for comment.

RPNs working at Pioneer Ridge also secured a one dollar per hour wage adjustment.

The adjustment responds to a $3 an hour top-up the province has provided for personal support workers, to ensure the additional training and expertise of RPNs is recognized, said city manager Norm Gale.

He expressed hope the increases will help with recruitment for positions at Pioneer Ridge, a long-term care home, and Jasper Place, a seniors supportive housing complex.

The agreement is retroactive to July 1, 2022, when the previous contract between the city and Unifor Local 229 had expired. The new contract will be valid through June 30, 2024.

The contract covers nearly 300 workers, with 84 employed full-time, 142 part-time, and 53 on a casual basis.

City council approved the agreement at a meeting on Monday after several months of bargaining, and Gale said it had already been ratified by Unifor members.

Gale said the city was pleased with the deal, but declined to comment on what impact it could have on other negotiations scheduled with other bargaining units later this year.

“As always, we will bargain in good faith with all of our bargaining units,” he said.

Ian Kaufman

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