Shelley Ward, President of PEI UPSE, said: “The bargaining team for our health care members deserves to be commended for their hard work and commitment during the negotiation process. By working together, we have reached a fair agreement for our members who provide essential health services to the people of Prince Edward Island every day. More than 1,000 health care workers, members of the PEI Union of Public Sector Employees (PEI UPSE/NUPGE) have a new collective agreement. Arbitrator Thomas Kuttner preferred the arbitration award earlier this week. Negotiations between PEI UPSE and the Ministry of Health and Welfare began in April 2009 and moved to conciliation in March 2010, after the negotiating teams could not reach an agreement. Mediation did not bring the parties together and monetary issues were a major stumbling blocks. As a result, PEI UPSE and the Ministry of Health and Welfare introduced a mandatory interest rate arbitration procedure on 21, 22 September and 1 October 2010. Charlottetown (October 21, 2010) – Pei UPSThe more than a thousand members working for the provincial government`s Department of Health and Wellness have a renewed collective agreement that will be extended retroactively from April 2009 to March 31, 2012. On October 19, 2010, University of Prince Edward Island arbitrator Thomas Kuttner presented the arbitration award that gave members of the PEI UPSE Department of Health and Wellness an increase of 6%: April 1, 2009 (2%), October 1, 2009 (2%), October 1, 2010 (1%) and October 1, 2011 (1%). . . . .