Joint Health Provider Bargaining Update from SEIU-West, CUPE and SGEU: April 9, 2018

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Your health providers coalition bargaining committee met in Saskatoon this week from Thursday, April 5 to Sunday, April 8. We remain focused on getting the best possible collective agreements.

Both the unions and SAHO provided multiple proposal packages over the last four days. Questions were raised, and a great deal of discussion took place as we spent time reviewing the impact of proposed language changes and the introduction of Letters of Understanding to address new and emerging processes.

Some of those processes include the development of a joint trusteeship of all of our benefit plans (such as Extended Health and Dental; DIP) and addressing the new operational phase of the Saskatchewan Health Authority. In both examples, CUPE, SGEU and SEIU-West feel that it’s important to have your unions at the table to ensure that our members’ issues are raised, that your voices are heard, and that we have an opportunity to contribute to improvements.

The coalition of unions is also providing support and solidarity to one another in the form of shared language, such as the development of a workload committee or electronic call-back. With workload, this is an on-going and critical issue that we need to work together to address. It involves reviewing policies and practices, proper reporting of workload concerns, short-staffing and staff retention, and an avenue to address the concerns of not only our members, but the concerns of the patients, clients, and residents we care for each day. The health authority has an obligation to meet the OHS regulations, and as unions, we are adamant about this.

At this time, we have deferred the discussion of monetary provisions in order to focus on items that we believe will be easier to agree on.

April 10 is the day that the provincial budget will be delivered by the Minister of Finance. We strongly encourage you to listen/watch for further updates on the impact to health care and our collective bargaining process. We need to stand strongly together to say “NO” to cuts/rollbacks/concessions! We are proud of Saskatchewan health care workers who deserve to be treated with respect and paid what we are worth!

On another note, we honour and salute the health care workers and emergency responders of every union who performed so incredibly during the tragic Humboldt Broncos bus crash on April 6. To the first responders, medical professionals and volunteers, we owe you our deepest gratitude. You comforted and cared for the injured and dying. You hugged families, friends, and other staff in their time of need. You have cried, worked tirelessly on your feet, grieved, and, at times, found the strength to smile. We are honoured to represent you and to know you. We are proud of the care you provide every day and especially in times of crisis. Never doubt the incredible value that you bring to our health care system. Thank you all.

In Solidarity,

SEIU-WEST, CUPE, and SGEU Bargaining Committees

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