Vancouver, BC – Janitors working for Tricom Building Maintenance in Vancouver ratified their first collective agreement in British Columbia that includes significant yearly wage increases, eight paid personal days per year, employer-paid health and dental benefits and a pension plan.
“These improvements are very important for all of us and for our families, especially the wage increases and health benefits. When we learned what other janitors in BC won through a union, we knew that we could do the same and didn’t want to be left behind anymore,” explains Teresa Daguio, who works full-time at the building.
The workers unionized with SEIU Local 2 last July. Before that, most of the workers were making minimum wage, which is currently $15.20 in BC. Starting in January of 2022, these workers will be earning anywhere from $1.55-2.00 over the minimum wage and will be receiving another 4% increase in January 2023.
These Tricom workers who clean the Canada Revenue Building at 468 Terminal Avenue, will now be joining thousands of SEIU janitorial members across BC and Canada.
The deal also included a pension plan, which is a first for contracted janitors in British Columbia.
“The pension plan really is a big win. We all know that CPP is not enough to retire on so having a pension is important so we can have some retirement security after all the years we have been working,” says Teresa, who has been working with Tricom since 2017.
In light of this momentous achievement, there is no doubt that pensions will be one of the priorities for thousands of janitors at the central bargaining table in May of 2023. During city-wide bargaining in Toronto and Ottawa, janitors were the first to achieve a pension plan at a city-wide rate; they have created a path for janitors in other provinces to follow.