VANCOUVER – CUPE Local 3495-17 and QMUNITY, a multi-purpose resource centre serving the needs of B.C.’s LGBT communities, have ratified a new collective agreement that includes improvements to overtime provisions, scheduling flexibility, and wages.
“I want to commend QMUNITY for working respectfully and diligently with CUPE Local 3495-17,” said CUPE 3495 President Stephen King. “This agreement was reached in large part because of a willingness on both sides to listen carefully to each other’s concerns and look for creative solutions that will foster the good working relations already established between the bargaining unit and QMUNITY.”
Improvements include the right for union members to take overtime as pay instead of only time in lieu; establishment of a self-scheduling system that allows the flexibility needed for both parties to improve on program delivery; standardization of wages among the current job classifications; and assurance that all wages will be kept above the “Living Wage”. The new contract also includes numerous housekeeping and minor language clarifications.
“It was great to see all of our members get so involved throughout the bargaining process,” said Daniela Gardea, Local Steward for the bargaining unit. “Having all but one of them at the ratification vote was a tribute to their dedication.”
The proposed agreement was finalized on Friday (May 29), with the union ratifying it on June 5. The QMUNITY board ratified the agreement during a meeting on Tuesday (June 16). The agreement expires on December 31, 2017.
CUPE 3495 represents approximately seven staff at QMUNITY who keep the organization running on a day-to-day basis. Services CUPE members provide include assisting in the creation and promotion of inclusive spaces, providing support to those affected by discrimination and homophobia, strengthening communities through meaningful connections, and offering a unified voice to advance LGBT community interests.