Personal support worker on bargaining committee representing 16,000 people

Stephaney Williams is a personal support worker at a long-term care home in east Scarborough, where she has worked 7am-3pm for 29 years, taking care of elderly residents.

She decided to take her involvement at work to the next step by getting involved with her union.

Stephaney Williams

“I saw the work that stewards were doing and thought it could be interesting to get involved and advocate for my members. I became the chief steward and I’ve been doing it for ten years.”

Stephaney also sits on her health and safety committee at work. There are more than 200 staff members there.

We spoke with Stephaney after a week-long bargaining session. The negotiations between her union SEIU Healthcare, representing 16,000 retirement and nursing home employees, and a combined 100 nursing and retirement homes, will be in official mediation as of August 29.

She was there as part of the union’s bargaining committee.

“We have a great team. This year there are some new faces, younger faces. I think it’s great, they are our future. It’s nice that they were able play a role, by getting what they want to see in the contract to make it better for all our members.”

Stephaney is a realist.

“I will tell my co-workers it’s been a great experience, it’s nice to be able to have a say with our collective agreement and to have something positive to bring back. You cannot bring back everything, you’re not going to get all the items, but the important things are what you spend most of the time on and focus on.”

“The bargaining process is very trying and tiring. But for the most part, we’re progressing.”

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