Click here to download a printable version of Canadian Blood Services – Bargaining Update No. 01.
Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
The SEIU-West Bargaining committee for Canadian Blood Services (CBS), Saskatoon and Regina, has met to prepare bargaining proposals for Collective Bargaining and is ready to meet with the Employer.
Your Union wrote to the Employer on the 15th of December, 2016 notifying them of our intent to bargain.
The Employer responded that they were willing to meet to bargain and advised that they would like to negotiate an essential services agreement prior to bargaining the Collective Agreement in order to be prepared in the event of a break down in bargaining and possible job action or lock out.
SEIU-West advised that we were willing to negotiate an essential services agreement and asked for the Employer’s initial proposal. The Employer requested that we give them until later in the spring of 2017 to prepare a proposal. SEIU-West agreed.
The parties remained in contact and when late spring came and went and no proposal had been provided, SEIU-West requested that the Employer provide dates for bargaining. The parties were unable to find enough mutually available dates to achieve any real progress in the summer and agreed tentative dates for the fall. Your Union advised that we no longer had any interest in negotiating an essential services agreement prior to Collective Bargaining and requested that the Employer commit to proceed to bargaining the contract.
Since then, the Employer has advised that they cannot be available to meet until February of 2018. Every time they have delayed the reason given has been lining up the calendars of senior staff which they also said had been compounded by some reorganization of assignments in the out of scope staff. Your Union responded by insisting that dates for February be confirmed as soon as possible and advised the Employer that we considered the delay to this point to be unreasonable.
The Employer would be guilty of an Unfair Labour Practice (ULP) if they refused to bargain however, by continuing to communicate regarding bargaining dates they have done the minimum required to counter the claim that they are refusing to bargain.
An unreasonable delay in bargaining can also be grounds for an ULP complaint. However, a complaint might trigger further delay and the outcome would likely be an order from the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (SLRB) directing the parties to meet and that would result in a further discussion of available dates.
Nonetheless, the Union’s patience is running out and if delays continue beyond February your Union will be forced to contemplate some action to compel the Employer to come to the table.
If you have any questions regarding bargaining please direct them to your unit representatives or call the Member Resource Centre (MRC) at 1-888-999-7348 ext. 2298 and ask that your question be relayed to the appropriate person or contact us through the SEIU-West website.
Be assured that SEIU-West will continue to work diligently to represent you and look forward to your support as we negotiate the best possible collective agreement for your workplace. Your participation in your Union makes the Union strong.
Cam McConnell, SEIU-West Northern Negotiations Officer
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