Huge Gains for Cleaners at Loyalist College

* 21.3% increase in wages over two years * Strong protection against sub-contracting * wage protection language against inflation * improvements to the workers’ pension plan and more!

Students at Loyalist College in Belleville, ON won’t be faced with picket lines when the arrive for the fall semester after all. The cleaners, employed by Compass Group Canada, ratified a new two-year collective bargaining agreement on August 24.   

The workers had been without a contract since the end of December 2022, and their last raise had come in January 2022. They approved a strike on August 15, but thankfully for everyone, it was averted. Workers say a strong strike vote showed they were united and unwilling to allow the company to delay bargaining any further.

SEIU Local 2 member Maggi Lynch.

“For me, a strike vote was a complete necessity,” said Maggi Lynch, who has been working at the College for nearly three years. “Coming together as a team to vote for a strike showed the company that we were serious about getting to the table to meaningfully bargain.”

The new and historic deal includes a 21.3% increase in wages over two years, strong protection against sub-contracting, wage protection language against inflation, and improvements to the workers’ pension plan.  Important language specific to the college setting was also won for the first time that starts to address matters important to workers like residence, frosh week, and convocation clean up. Improvements were also made to premium pay, car allowance, shoe allowance, paid personal and sick days, health and safety in the form of training and more.

“I feel that this new contract has finally given us a wage more in tune with inflation and the cost of living,” said Maggi.

The workers clean classrooms, offices, washrooms, residences and communal areas. The deal covers more than 30 members.

Located on more than 200 acres in the Bay of Quinte region, the College is positioned between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.