PARRY SOUND – Parry Sound personal support workers for the Victorian Order of Nurses ratified their contract last night after employer demands for a travel time concession were taken off the table.
The 40 members of OPSEU Local 320 voted unanimously to accept the four year deal after VON dropped a plan that would have had the workers travel up to 40 km per day without any payment for travel time.
“Facing a four year wage freeze, workers absolutely refused any further concessions from the agency,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “They made it clear this was going to be their line in the sand.”
VON had maintained their costs would make them less likely to win the next home care competition. OPSEU is arguing such competitions are a race to the bottom and are driving skilled workers out of the home care sector.
The VON personal support workers have been without a contract since 2008 when they were divested from the local hospital. The new agreement runs to 2012.