Home Arbitration/Labour Relations Arbitration sets wage, severance terms for workers at Hamilton retirement home set to close

Arbitration sets wage, severance terms for workers at Hamilton retirement home set to close

by HR Law Canada

An arbitration board in Ontario has reached a decision in a dispute involving unionized workers at the Carlisle Retirement Residence in Hamilton. But, in a bit of a twist, the employer announced it was going to close the home sometime around July 2023 shortly after the arbitration hearing.

The board granted wage increases and severance provisions to the workers, who are represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

In terms of compensation, the board granted wage increases of 2% effective July 1, 2021, and 3% starting July 1, 2022. These hikes will be applied based on the prevailing wage rate on the respective dates. Additionally, retroactive payment was approved in alignment with the union’s proposal.

The employer is also mandated to offer severance pay, equivalent to one week for every year of service (capped at twenty-six weeks), to employees who have logged more than 1,820 hours but do not qualify under the Employment Standards Act.

“For clarity purposes, employees who are entitled to payment of statutory severance pay under the Employment Standards Act are not entitled to any additional severance pay under this awarded provision,” it said.

The decision came about to facilitate the renewal of the collective agreement in line with the Hospital Labour Disputes Arbitration Act. The announcement by the employer that it was shuttering the home resulted in further submissions for the board to evaluate.

Details of the Arbitration:

Chaired by Norm Jesin, the arbitration board included Jeffery Sack K.C., representing the Union, and Irv Kleiner on behalf of the Employer. The hearing for this matter took place on February 7, 2023, with an executive session on July 10, and the final decision was rendered on August 22, 2023.

Ryan Wood of Bass Associates represented the Employer. The Union’s representation was led by Chantelle Flowers, Advocate, with team members Felicia Forbes, Rebecca Miller, Karen Shimoda, Anne Lavoie, and Leslie Thomas from the Bargaining Committee.

For more information, see Canadian Union of Public Employees and Its Local 1404-01 v Carlisle Retirement Residence, 2023 CanLII 75467 (ON LA)

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