ECC Members Accept Vastly Improved New Contract!

Members at the Edmonton Convention Centre have voted 86% in favour of accepting a new and improved Collective Agreement that secures retroactive pay, well deserved wage and premium increases, as well as improvements to scheduling and vacation selection just to name a few.

The ECC was shuttered in March of 2020 due to COVID and upon reopening, events have been slow to return, creating a very challenging environment for these workers to negotiate in.

“Through it all we had a great bargaining committee lead by their Union Labour Relations Officer Catherine Lelis,” UFCW 401 Lead Negotiator Larry Zima tells us. “We did not allow the employer to plead poverty, and although we didn’t achieve all our goals, committee members were unanimous in recommending the offer to their fellow coworkers.”


  • A comprehensive rewrite of the scheduling language including:
    • Scheduling of shifts in the food and beverage department – a major improvement as employees were largely “on call”
    • Availability change opportunities increased to four times/year from the current once/year
    • Seniority is the first step in scheduling of part-time employees, subject to availability
    • Most available hours scheduled daily by seniority
    • Employees will not be scheduled more than seven consecutive days in a row, if that’s their preference
    • Full-time employees now receive two consecutive days off a month
  • Agreement on how full-time vacation is calculated, which has been a long-standing point of friction between the parties
  • Full-time employees gained improved rights in scheduling their vacation
  • Inclusion of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a paid general holiday
  • Inclusion of current legislated leaves, which are now protected in the Collective Agreement and will not disappear if the government of the day rescinds them
  • Part-time employees now qualify for benefits after working just 20 hours/week; a reduction from the previous 32 hours/week qualifier – a significant improvement for the over 90% part-time workforce
  • Elimination of the probationary rate, new members were paid $1/hour less during their probation
  • Increase to the shift premium
  • 4-year term going forward with full retro pay back to January of 2022
  • Initial wage increases adjusted in an equitable manner, resulting in increases ranging from 4% for members at the highest rates, to 11% for the lowest paid employees in the first year
  • Wage increases from $0.92 to $2.93/hour over varied classifications in the first year 
  • Years 2, 3, and 4 will see increases of 2% per year with a wage reopener in the 4th year, providing an opportunity to fight for further increases in the final year
  • Over the term, the vast majority of members will see wage increases of over $2.50/hour, with some members in Maintenance receiving a total increase of over $5/hour.

Congratulations to the members of the Edmonton Conference Centre. You stuck together and along with your coworkers on the bargaining committee who never backed down, you all achieved much to be proud of – including setting a higher standard for those in your industry!