Elmwood Group Homes

Elmwood Group Homes – Bargaining Update No. 02

Clicke here for a printable PDF version of Elmwood Group Homes – Bargaining Update No. 02.

Greetings Sisters and Brothers,

Your SEIU-West bargaining committee and the Employer met on October 31, 2017 for conciliation assisted by a Labour Relations Officer appointed by the Ministry of Labour.

The only outstanding issues were negotiating the terms of a Letter of Understanding (LOU) to review scheduling practices and explore the possibility that there were cost savings that could be applied to a wage increase or bonus to staff at a later date and providing staff the ability to bank overtime in order to take it as time off at another date.

Those issues were discussed at Unit Meetings in the spring and summer of 2017 and were strongly supported by the members present.

The Employer refused to consider the Union’s proposal on banking overtime and proposed a LOU for the scheduling review project that could not possibly have achieved the agreed purpose. The Employer then stated that they refused to continue bargaining and cancelled the remaining conciliation dates that we had scheduled.

The last wage proposal that the Employer presented was 0% for 2017. That was rejected unanimously by the membership. The Union previously tabled a proposal for a modest wage increase in 2017. The Employer would not agree to that.

The Union advised the Employer that we would not present their final offer for a vote unless forced to do so by the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board. Your bargaining committee also advised that we would meet with the membership to discuss the situation and seek direction of our next step including a discussion of the possibility of job action.

As discussed in our last update, we have presented the Employer with a choice: work with us to solve the problems in the workplace or fight with us over wages. We need direction from you in order to move forward to resolving these negotiations with a fair and reasonable outcome.

There are two Unit Meetings planned at the SEIU-West office located at 747 46th Street West in Saskatoon – please attend one of the following:

  • November 22, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.
  • November 22, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.

Your input is important and we want to answer as many of your questions as we can.

In solidarity.

Your SEIU-West Bargaining Committee:
Roger Schmitz (Unit Chair), Jessica Eastveld, Ramona Logan, Barb Landry (Union Representative), Cam McConnel (Negotiations Officer)

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Elmwood Group Homes – Bargaining Update No. 01

Clicke here for a printable PDF version of Elmwood Group Homes – Bargaining Update No. 01.

Greetings Sisters and Brothers,

Your SEIU-West bargaining committee has worked through the summer to negotiate changes to the Collective Agreement but we aren’t there yet.

When we last provided an update at a Unit meeting in July we advised that all non-monetary issues had been settled. The Employer had told us that they were not in a position to offer a wage increase so their offer was zero. They had given us that offer in the spring and the membership rejected it overwhelmingly.

As discussed at the Unit meeting in July we crafted a proposal for the Employer that combined devising a new schedule and using banking overtime as a way to reduce the Employer’s wage cost and provide for an improvement to working conditions if the form of better access to time off.

Initially the discussions went well and there was progress toward an agreement. Because of that your committee did a great deal of work analyzing the scheduling problems that have cause excessive wage cost for the Employer and proposing ways we could work together to address them.

Unfortunately, as we approached the fall and continued to exchange proposals the Employer began to back off some of their earlier commitments. You Union determined that there was no point continuing to negotiate when there was less on the table each time we talked so we have written to the Minister of Labour to ask for conciliation to try and resolve our bargaining impasse.

We have told the Employer there are two choices: work with us to resolve the cost and working conditions problems or offer a fair general wage increase. It appears they want to choose neither. If we can’t resolve this final impasse we will have no choice but to come back to you, the members, and recommend that we consider job action. We’re scheduled to meet for conciliation on October 31st and on November 6th and 9th. Updates will be posted as soon as they are available.

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.

Your bargaining committee and Union thank you for your patience in this negotiation. It has been a long and frustrating round of bargaining already and it may continue for a while but we are hopeful that conciliation will be successful and bring the Employer around to offer something that is fair and reasonable.

In Solidarity,

Your Elmwood Group Home Bargaining Team:
Jessica Eastveld, Ramona Logan, Roger Schmitz, Barb Landry SEIU-West Union Representative), and Cam McConnell (SEIU-West Northern Negotiations Officer)

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