February 11, 2019
Dear Health Care Member:
Your coalition bargaining committees were asked to return to the bargaining table with SAHO, and agreed to do so, on February 8, 2019. The provider unions were ready to negotiate. The only outstanding item was a fair and reasonable wage increase. In December, a substantial amount of members told their bargaining committees SAHO’s final wage offer of (0%, 0%, 1%, 2%) was neither reasonable nor acceptable. Your bargaining committees conveyed that message to SAHO.
SAHO and the employer committee responded with an ultimatum. They said accept the wage offer (0%, 0%, 1%, 2%) by noon on February 15, 2019 OR the items that have been agreed to in principle and the wage offer will disappear. They were specific that the provider unions would be faced with the initial SAHO and employer rollback proposals and their proposed cuts to get to -3.5%.
Of course, the provider unions were extremely provoked by SAHO’s response. The committees felt SAHO’s strong arm tactics were just like schoolyard bullying, such as ‘give me your lunch money or you will get beat up’. These tactics are not good faith bargaining. It seems SAHO and the employer are not truly trying to reach a collective agreement. SAHO’s response is not moving the parties closer together. In fact, their response is moving negotiations backwards to the place we were over a year ago.
Your bargaining committees will be assessing their options in the coming days.
There is no room for bullying at our workplaces, and it is not acceptable at the bargaining table. Now more than ever we ask for your continued support. We want to thank all frontline health care workers for supporting the work of the bargaining committees, and we continue to ask that you remain active in supporting your bargaining committees. Please, continue to make phone calls, send emails, and meet with your MLAs. Do not let this round of bargaining fall off the government’s radar.
Health care providers are fundamental to providing quality patient-centred care. We deserve a wage increase that values the work we do. Let’s continue to work hard to achieve this together.
CUPE, SGEU, and SEIU-West bargaining committees