Nelson House personal care home workers end strike with 2-year deal

The strike has ended at Nisichawayasihk Personal Care Home in Nelson House, Man.

About 30 workers had been on strike since Nov. 28

About 30 workers at Nisichawayasihk Personal Care Home have ended their strike, signing a two-year agreement. (iStock)

The strike has ended at Nisichawayasihk Personal Care Home in Nelson House, Man.

On Nov. 28 about 30 Manitoba Government Employees Union (MGEU) workers walked off the job because they said they were not paid the same as other personal care home workers in Manitoba.

They had been pushing for better wages for six years, the union said. MGEU president Michelle Gawronsky said workers were paid 27 per cent, or $4 per hour, less than other employees with the same level of training.

"In the end, while the employer was not able to offer all we need to fully address the disparity, this new deal is a big step towards reaching equity," said Gawronsky.

The new two-year collective agreement includes a 10 per cent wage increase during the first year of the agreement, retroactive to the expiry of the previous contract nine months ago, and a three per cent wage increase the following year, said MGEU.

"This is a significant move forward and the employer has also committed to working with us to secure the necessary funds to achieve wage parity in the near future," she said.

Gawronsky said both MGEU and the employer, Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, are asking Ottawa for more funding for personal care homes.

"When it comes down to it, this is about the need for stable, predictable funding for our First Nations communities," said Gawronsky.

"In order for our members to be paid fairly and equitably, our Federal government needs to step up and adequately fund First Nations personal care homes like Nisichawayasihk."