May 30, 2017
We are providing this update to clarify some misleading information that has been put out by the employer and has been circulating amongst our members within the community of Outlook.
The information recently posted by Variety Place management about collective bargaining appears to be both incomplete and misleading. Variety Place management stated that they are not in a position to offer an increase in wages or sick time.
Yet, Variety Place has reported surpluses in their funding for both wages and relief funding in 2014, 2015 and 2016 according to their own publicly available audited financial statements.
In reviewing these financial documents, it would appear that:
- in 2014, Variety Place reported a surplus of approximately $73,761.00 for budget line items that set out Direct Care support salaries over actual wage costs and a surplus of approximately $46,580.00 in relief salaries (coverage for vacation and sick time etc.) over actual relief costs.
- in 2015, Variety Place reported a surplus of approximately $122,892.00 for budget line items that set out Direct Care support salaries over actual wage costs and a surplus of approximately $19,429.00 in relief salaries over actual relief costs.
- in 2016, Variety Place reported a surplus of approximately $162,886.00 for budget line items that set out Direct Care support salaries over actual wage costs and a surplus of approximately $46,942.00 in relief salaries over actual relief costs.
There appears to be a surplus totaling approximately $35,366.00 as funding for a budget line item that sets out food purchases over actual grocery purchases in the three years listed above. All of these surpluses combined add up to over $500,000.00. Financial prudence is a good thing but we believe this surplus has been built at the expense of participants, residents and staff and it is unfair. We would also like to know what happened to that money.
At the bargaining table the Union proposed (we did not demand) the following reasonable offer:
- 2014-15 0%
- 2015-16 2%
- 2016-17 2%
- 2017-18 2%
- Plus: an increase in sick time to one shift per month.
If accepted, this would bring the top wage to $18.56 per hour. Based on documentation supplied during bargaining, it appears Variety Place has received funding for Direct Care Workers to earn up to $19.39 per hour since 2013. Also, it is our understanding that Variety Place, at least in 2014, received funding for more Direct Care Worker hours than they actually have working each day.
Variety Place refused to consider our proposal so we presented their “final offer” to our members, which is:
- 2014-15 0%
- 2015-16 0%
- 2016-17 0%
- 2017-18 1%
- Plus: the Employer offered a signing bonus.
Our members rejected the employer’s final offer.
The last wage increase the members working at Variety Place received was 1% for 2013-14 plus a one-time signing bonus. That same year Variety Place received a wage funding increase of approximately 9.4% from the provincial government.
The SEIU-West members employed at Variety Place only want fairness for the participants, the residents and themselves.
On behalf of SEIU-West,
Cam McConnell, Negotiations Officer