Workers at Donald Gordon Centre vote yes on new agreement

·2 min read

After negotiating parties reached a tentative agreement earlier in the month, CUPE 229 which hospitality and food services workers at Donald Gordon Centre announced that members have approved a deal that will give them wage parity with workers at other Queen's campus locations.

Over the three year term of the new deal members will see up to a 40% wage increase, equalizing their pay with colleagues at other locations employed by Aramark.

CUPE 229 President Sherri Ferris has said previous wage conditions at the Donald Gordon Centre have been unfair, and while it will take time she is glad Aramark has agreed to a fair deal.

“The deal that was agreed is exactly what CUPE had first proposed – closing the wage gap between two groups of food service workers at Queen’s, both of whom have Aramark as their employer,” said Ferris in a news release.

“The adjustments won’t happen overnight. But over the next three years, the new contract will bring these CUPE members closer to a living wage. In the end, we’re pleased that Aramark agreed that this was a fair and reasonable goal.

CUPE members had previously given their union a strike mandate as part of their fight to close a 38% gap between their pay and that of other Aramark workers at Queen’s, at that time Aramark said it had a contingency plan to ensure services were not interrupted at the Donald Gordon Centre.

The difference in pay was glaring for some positions, with the release pointing out that dishwashers at the Donald Gordon Centre earning $15.42 per hour while their peers at other Queen's locations contracted by Aramark earned $21.36 an hour for the same job.

Dishwashers at the Centre will now see their wages increase to $22 an hour in 2024, with all 35 staff contracted at the Donald Gordon Centre poised to see similarly scaled raises.

Aramark has not provided an update to their comment on negotiations from earlier in August.

Owen Fullerton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, YGK News