Hard-Won First Contracts at Two Chartwell Retirement Facilities

After their employer, Chartwell, stalled negotiations in a failed attempt to weaken their resolve, workers at two retirement facilities in Alberta have officially become USW members with their first ratified collective bargaining agreements.

The two new units comprise approximately 200 members, who will join amalgamated Local 1-207, and include LPNs, activity aides, cooks, housekeepers, and more.

Members of the Chartwell bargaining teams, left to right: Misty Lafond, Ruby Sab-it, Maria Stantos, Shirley Clark. Not pictured are Zamantha Septimo and Lisa Boyce.

Workers at Chartwell Country Cottage Sherwood Park obtained multiple key advancements through their agreements, including wage increases, maternity and paternity leave and bereavement. The four-year contract at Chartwell’s St. Albert facility included, among other items, improved seniority and overtime language, wage increases and vacation time.

The negotiating committees spent more than a year working to get their employer to bargain a fair contract. Ray White, president of USW Local 1-207 and the lead bargainer at both tables, said frustration could have easily taken hold of the membership, but their will was stronger than their joint employer’s tactics. “These contracts would not have been possible without the dedication and perseverance of both bargaining committees and the patience and solidarity of the membership,” said White.

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