MEDIA RELEASE: Grim Reality

Grim Reality

For Immediate Release, February 15, 2018

Saskatoon – SEIU-West members who work at Elmwood Group Homes (EGH) have served 48 hour job action notice to their employer as of 11:00 am on February 14, 2018.

“Our members have been negotiating with their employer for four years and have exhausted all other avenues,” said Neil Colmin, Vice-President of SEIU-West. “Though this strike notice only constitutes the withdrawal of selected transportation services as of 6 pm on Friday, February 16, 2018 for the residents, workers have been forced to take this step in their call for fairness.”

Over the course of this protracted round of bargaining, conciliation with the Ministry of Labour has been sought twice with no resolve. The workers have sent a letter to the Board of Directors asking for their intervention with no reply. Support Workers have been without a pay raise since 2013. EGH has repeatedly offered 0% wage increases, and, more recently, has asked Support Workers to accept a vague promise of a 2% wage increase that would only be received if our provincial government increases funding to EGH to cover the offer.

“Considering the fact that our provincial government has incurred a huge deficit, we have no confidence that this additional funding will come through,” added Colmin. “Our members expect their employer to bring something of genuine value to the table and bargain in good faith.”

While our members have heard the Employer’s claim of financial hardship, it is difficult to believe. The SEIU-West bargaining team has brought forward solutions to solve the employer’s financial pressure by proposing a joint committee to work on scheduling issues. Streamlining schedules to ensure that there is enough staff on hand to provide the quality, reliable care to residents while preventing cost overruns is in the best interest of everyone.

“Because our members are doing the hands on work every day, they are aware of the issues that create cost overruns,” added Colmin. “But this employer seems to have no interest in working together towards a fair solution that would see cost savings be invested back into resident care.

“It really is a grim reality,” continued Colmin. “The residents of EGH deserve better from the organization that has been hired to provide their hands-on care services. EGH should be valuing their workforce who keep them in business.”

SEIU-West represents more than 13,000 working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They include members who work in health care, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors. They are joined by one colour – purple – and one union – SEIU-West. Purple works in our communities! Visit www.PurpleWorks.ca to find out more about the members of SEIU-West.

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For more information, contact:
Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 306-652-1011 ext. 8733

 

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