Event: SFU Living Wage Campaign Launch on February 20

Release of Report – ‘SFU: Becoming the First Living Wage University in Canada’

Lat year the Living Wage for Families Campaign, in conjunction with a number of groups in SFU, undertook a survey of low wage workers in the University.  Following on from this process the ‘SFU Living Wage Campaign’ was formed with the aim of  persuading SFU to become the first Living Wage Campus in Canada. As the first step in this campaign we would like to invite you to the release of the report:

 ‘Simon Fraser University: Becoming the First Living Wage University in Canada’

on February 20th, 2013 at 12.30pm-1.30pm
In the West Mall Atrium, SFU.

Hosted by SFU Alumni,
Mae Burrows.

Speakers: Professor Marjorie Griffin Cohen, SFU
Michael McCarthy Flynn, Living Wage for Families Campaign
John Bannister, CUPE 3338

Tea and Coffee

About: This community-based collaborative research report assesses the extent and nature of low wage poverty experienced by people working in Simon Fraser University (SFU) and explores the options open to SFU to address this issue. This event will be the first of a series of dialogues with all members of the SFU community around this issue and provide an opportunity to explore how SFU can ensure that everybody in SFU earns a Living Wage.

Read a summary of the report:
Report Summary

Sign the Petition
http://livingwagesfu.wordpress.com/join-us-get-involved/

Keep up to date with the ‘SFU Living Wage Campaign’ on Social Media:

Facebook and Twitter

 

e: [email protected]
w: livingwagesfu.wordpress.com

 

Rally Tuesday to save the Waldorf Hotel!

Support the Waldorf Hotel Workers! Rally at Vancouver City Hall at noon on Tuesday, January 15! Address: West 12th Ave and Cambie.

Coast Hotel Workers Ratify New Agreement!

UNITE HERE Local 40 members at the Coast Hotels in Victoria, Nanaimo, Kelowna and Prince George have voted 92% to ratify a new 3-year contract that will dramatically improve access to health care benefits for workers and their families.

The settlement was reached on the verge of potential strikes in the Nanaimo and Victoria hotels.

Local 40’s bargaining committee and Coast management reached agreement that effective January 1, 2013, the hours needed for health care eligibility will be lowered from 30 hours/week to an average of 20 hours/week. With this victory, Coast workers now have the best eligibility system in any of Local 40’s contracts.

Other worker goals that were met in this settlement include additional reductions to room attendant workload, improved banquet workers’ rights, establishment of paid sick time, improved pension contributions to include paid time off, a 5% wage increase and improved extended health care benefits so that room attendants can receive much needed physiotherapy.

“These were challenging negotiations but we’re very pleased Coast management has chosen to take the lead in addressing health care eligibility and improving key benefits for their employees. We’re hoping this will set the pattern for hotels around the province,” said Robert Demand, Chief Negotiator for Local 40.

Coast Discovery Inn workers in Campbell River will be voting soon on their own contract settlement which provides for the same improvements in health care eligibility and benefits, improved pension contributions and room attendant workload reductions.

Local 40 is continuing discussions with Coast management about the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel in Vancouver.

HIR Rally at the Blue Horizon

slide1Hundreds of hotel workers rallied on Robson Street in Vancouver on Friday. HIR workers from the Blue Horizon Hotel, Wedgewood,  Empire Landmark, Chateau Granville and two Holiday Inns were joined by Local 40 members from across the Lower Mainland to send a loud message to Robson Street hotel operators: Stop the Abuse! Fair Contract Now!

We were unable to get HIR management back to the bargaining table during the month of September so HIR workers made a plan of action to take to the streets Friday  afternoon at the Blue Horizon.

The Blue Horizon was chosen because of the daily abuses that Room Attendants are experiencing on the job, and are fighting against in the hotel. A majority of the housekeeping department  presented a petition to the owner of the hotel on September 26.

The next round of HIR negotiations is scheduled for October 24 and 25 at the Empire Landmark Hotel.

Coast Hotel Workers Take Action

doc_81On Thursday, September 20, hundreds of Coast Hotel workers in Kelowna, Nanaimo, Victoria and Prince George took another step in their fight for a fair contract. Workers buttoned up with “Fair Contract” buttons began handing out “Real People Deserve Real Wages and Benefits,” leaflets to hotel customers. The flyers pointed out that Coast had only offered an 8 cent raise to workers in bargaing, a gesture that many Coast workers find offensive. Coast Hotels prides itself on its “Real People” advertising campaign, yet employees struggle to earn family-supporting wages and adequate health care benefits. (pictured at left, Nanaimo hotel workers on leafletting duty)

Lisa Larson, a banquet worker at the Coast Bastion, commented on the 8 cent cent contract offer Thursday during a gathering of several hundred Adrian Dix supporters in the Nanaimo hotel, “at a time when the federal goverment is doing away with the penny, Coast Hotels is embracing it.” Larson also told the gathering about the Coast workers struggle for fair health care, “I’ve worked at Coast Hotels for 24 years and I’ve had health care coverage for only 12 of those years.”

In an addition to fair wages, Coast workers are fighting for equality of health care eligibility. Currently, workers in Victoria, Nanaimo, Prince George and Kelowna have a health care plan that is inferior to the plan at Coast Plaza Hotel in Vancouver. “Just because we don’t live in Vancouver doesn’t mean we’re second class citizens. “We work just as hard as Vancovuer workers, with the same dedication to Coast Hotels. We deserve a fair contract.”

UPDATE: October 5, 2012

Bargaining took place on October 3 and 4 in Nanaimo. Here is management’s latest proposal:

NO to enough money to maintain current health care benefits
NO to enough money to make any real improvement to hours of eligibility
NO to enough money to make any real improvements to extended health benefits, dental and vision
NO to any reduction in housekeeping workload
NO to sick days
NO to fair banquet pool shares by reducing casual shares and management pays, from their share, any grats to managers or sales staff
NO to guaranteeing that working supervisors will not be used to discipline or schedule other union members
NO to a retroactive wage increase and only a 65 cent wage increase over 3 years
3 cents more on their pension proposal

The Union has requested a meeting with a mediator, but we still believe that management needs to respond to the clear demands of the majority of Bastion, Capri, Harbourside and Inn of the North workers. The Union will be meeting with the Committee in each city to discuss next steps in winning the contract all Coast workers and their families need and deserve.

Coast Bargaining Update

On September 6, the Coast committee and their co-workers delivered a petition calling for a fair contract to the Coast general managers. Over 85% of workers in Prince George, Kelowna, Nanaimo and Victoria signed the petition.

On September 10 and 11, the Union Bargaining Committee met with Coast management in Kelowna. Management made the following first economic proposal:

Wages: 2% increase over 3 years

Health Care: insufficient money to improve or maintain benefits

Pension: 9 cents over 3 years

Lowering hours for eligibility: NO

Sick Days: NO

Housekeeping Workload Reduction: NO

To keep moving forward, the Union gave Coast two comprehensive contract proposals, but Coast refused to make a second move at the bargaining table. The bargaining committee then demanded a full written economic and language proposal from Coast management. The next move is now up to Coast.

Negotiations are scheduled to resume October 3 and 4 in Nanaimo.

Coast and HIR Hotel Negotiations Underway

Nanaimo, BC – Negotiations for a new Union contract for Coast workers in Prince George (Coast Inn of the North), Kelowna (Coast Capri), Victoria (Coast Harbourside) and Nanaimo (Coast Bastion) have begun.

Our Bargaining Committee is pushing a bold economic proposal to increase wages, strengthen the pension, and establish sick days, but the Committee’s top priority is to improve health care. We are focusing on lowering eligibility hours so workers and their families will have access to coverage year around and on increasing the outdated benefit levels so workers can afford to go to a physiotherapist or a dentist.

The next round of bargaining is now scheduled for August 9th and 10th in Victoria at the Coast Harbourside Hotel.

Negotiations are also underway at Coast Plaza Hotel in Vancouver where the Union and management have made progress on workplace issues, especially with Room Attendant workload, but have not reached an agreement due to the Company’s economic proposal.

COMING SOON – HIR NEGOTIATIONS: Provincial bargaining with the more than 50 hotels in Victoria, Harrison, Vancouver, New Westminster, Nanaimo, Campbell River, Kamloops, Prince George, Fort St. John, Mackenzie, Terrace, Prince Rupert and other communities will begin on July 17th, 5PM at Empire Landmark Hotel. These hotels are all represented by Hospitality Industrial Relations (HIR). Stay tuned for more updates.

Rosewood Hotel Georgia workers win first-time union contract!

Rosewood Hotel Georgia workers ratified their new, first-time union contract by a vote of 97% yesterday. The Hotel Georgia workers achieved the downtown Vancouver contract standard–and more! Joining their co-workers at the Westin Bayshore, Four Seasons, Renaissance and Hyatt Regency, Hotel Georgia members built a strong committee, organized and successfully fought to achieve secure, family-supporting jobs.

Welcome to our new Local 40 members!

Hilton Metrotown workers ratify new contract!

slide7On November 14, 2011, UNITE HERE Local 40 members ratified a new union contract with the Hilton Metrotown Hotel by 89%. The new contract includes historic housekeeping workload relief language–the best in Canada–as well as key improvements to banquet workers’ compensation, pension contributions and wage increases for all Hilton workers.

The Hilton agreement achieves a new standard for hotel contracts in the Metro Vancouver area.

UNITE HERE’s housekeeping workload goals are always to make this work safer and more sustainable. The Hilton room attendants are now leading the way in this effort. Their new contract improvements include better access to supplies and equipment, a reduction in the number of floors housekeepers must travel daily, the strengthening of fair of assignment of work and no new duties assigned to room attendants without the Union’s consent.

Banquet department improvements include an increase in service charges and better transparency of banquet gratuities.

Additional hotel-wide contract improvements include a reduction in the number of hours required for health care coverage, pension contribution increases and significant wage increases.

The new contract was achieved through the hard work, organization and militancy of the Hilton Metrotown rank and file commitee leaders and their co-workers. The housekeeping and banquet departments were able to raise the bar for contract language in their areas by a high level of organization and mobilization of their co-workers.

On the way to achieving their historic contract, Hilton workers from all departments rallied at the hotel, delegated management, signed petitions, wore buttons and voted to strike by 92%

Hilton Metrotown workers received key support during their contract campaign from many loyal customers at the Hilton, including labour unions, progressive poltical leaders and community organizations. We encourage everyone to patronize the Hilton Metrotown.

Congratulations, Hilton Metrotown workers!

SFU food service workers ratify new contract by 100%

slide2Compass/Chartwells food service workers at Simon Fraser University made great gains today in ratifying a new union contract.  Demonstrating overwhelming support, Chartwells workers voted to ratify the new contract by 100%. In a strong show of interest, more than 80% of the total Chartwells workforce throughout the SFU campus turned out for the vote. The new contract includes solid wage gains, 100% health and dental coverage and new union rights. Chartwells food service workers at SFU work in outlets throughout the university including Tim Hortons, White Spot, Residents Dining Hall, Mackenzie Cafeteria, the DAC and C-Store. Chartwells is a division of food service contractor, Compass.

The Simon Fraser University administration is currently reviewing its contract with Compass and may be looking for a new food service contractor. UNITE HERE Local 40 union members are demanding that SFU guarantee their jobs in the event of a contractor change.