After Tough Negotiations Compass Group Workers Win Much Improved Contract

Workers at Compass Group Canada, Alberta Corrections, have ratified their new Union Contract, which was achieved with the help of a mediator.

The 3-year deal (less than 2 years going forward) was handily endorsed by 91% of voting Compass union members. This victory, however, did not come easily and required several mediation sessions, PLUS a 76% strike mandate, to finally get the deal done.

Workers can be proud they won a number of significant improvements, including: improved “just cause” provisions for termination; better representation language for Stewards; improved employee rights regarding discipline; restrictions on forced consecutive days of work; improvements to family leave language; improved provisions for members wishing to address workplace concerns with their employer as well as improved health and safety language. Workers also won improved rights to job opportunities.

Monetary highlights include wage increases in each year of the contract along with full retroactive pay, improved OT provisions, signing bonuses for all employees, longevity bonuses paid annually, improved eye exam and glasses coverage, along with some improvements to sick pay.

Overall this victory was a testament to the resolve of the membership and the union’s negotiating committee. This round of talks was a difficult one. This is an employer who has traditionally provided paltry wage offers and has flatly refused to even acknowledge that the province’s minimum wage would be going to $15.00 per hour next year – they wanted to negotiate an optional wage scale in 2018 that would only kick in in the event that the minimum wage went to $15 per hour. The union membership dug in, however, and rejected company offers, opting instead to vote in favour of strike action in order to give the negotiating committee more strength at the negotiating table.

The workers stuck together and with a solid strike mandate they sent their employer a clear message that they must come to terms with today’s reality or face the prospect of a strike. The employer chose the former and improved their offer.

Employees, many of whom are new Canadians, were extremely appreciative and expressed sincere gratitude to the hardworking men and women on the union’s negotiating committee, but it really was a collective effort by all members.

Congrats to all the workers at Compass! By sticking together you have all accomplished one of the best Union Contracts yet and we are proud to have achieved it together.