Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU) members at H.E.L.P. Homes of Regina approved a new collective agreement on Sept. 17, containing a wage increase and additional benefits for approximately 45 workers.
“We’re pleased to have secured well-deserved wage and benefit increases for our members, who do challenging but vital and rewarding work supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” said Darren Olson, chair of SGEU’s H.E.L.P. Homes of Regina bargaining committee.
Under the new agreement, employees will receive a 6.5-per-cent wage increase, a signing bonus equal to 1.5 per cent of last year’s wages and a boost in coverage for dental care and prescription medication. This is a significant improvement for members whose wages started as low as $13.03 per hour and who haven’t had a raise since April 2014, because no funding increases were received by the agency, said the union.
“We know that H.E.L.P. Homes received a five per cent funding increase, and they chose to dedicate the money to employee compensation,” added Olson.
The contract also contains a new emergency-shelter clause for those experiencing interpersonal violence. It allows members to use sick time or other leave, or take unpaid leave if their paid leave has been used, said the SGEU.
“Workers trying to escape domestic violence shouldn’t face further stress about missing work or covering their bills. This new provision in the contract will help ensure they can focus entirely on removing themselves from abusive situations,” said Olson.
This community-based residential support organization provides services for individuals living with an intellectual disability in Regina. The new collective agreement is in effect until March 31, 2022.
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