SEIU-West/SAHO Bargaining Update No. 5

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Greetings Sisters and Brothers,

Your SEIU-West bargaining committee met with SAHO on June 13 & 14 in Saskatoon.

SAHO finally concluded presenting their counter proposals to the SEIU-West initial proposal document. It was surprising how much time that took, since the SAHO consistent response was to maintain the status quo (except when they proposed take-aways) or telling the Union to resolve issues at the ‘local’ level. We told them that the members’ frustration at their inability to problem solve issues at the ‘local’ level, either because the Employer has no interest or no authority to do so, is what generates our proposals. It was puzzling to hear that SAHO and the Employers are not interested in or not comfortable with a lot of the progressive ideas that we are putting forward. SEIU-West wants to work proactively to determine what the future with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) will bring and to negotiate a fair collective agreement for frontline health care providers.

We have achieved a modicum of success in that we have agreed to change a reference to another Article in the Call-in Posting Language. We want to set up a sub-committee to address challenges we have with electronic information related to dues. SEIU-West and SAHO are working towards an interest-based (as opposed to adversarial based) process to look at the challenges we have across the province with Article 11.10 Call-in. This is an issue that continues to rear its head for members, schedulers and managers alike and we are committed to trying to make this process more fair and logical for everyone.

We had a number of non-bargaining type discussions: developing a protocol for how SAHO will provide us with an “heads up” on impending layoffs or changes to a facility’s hours of operation in a bargaining unit or RHA. SEIU-West has a pretty robust process for how layoffs are addressed, but because we are bargaining, SAHO is of the view that they have an obligation to share such information with us. As well, we talked about eHealth and their role in the creation of the Saskatchewan provincial health Authority and its IT capabilities.

SAHO stated during this bargaining session that RHA budgets for 2017-2018 are being developed this month and go to the Ministry of Health in September; that there is a great deal of pressure on the RHA’s regarding budgets. We say, “welcome to the club.” We know that you all have been carrying an incredible amount of pressure for a number of years: short staffing, constant overtime, access to and quality of equipment, positions being left vacant, and increasing workloads. We have also heard the message, “enough is enough!” We know that there is a demand for fairness in the air!

We will be working on setting up town hall-style membership meetings over the course of the next 6-8 weeks. We know that summertime meetings are not ideal, and we also know that you all want to meet us so we can tell you what’s been going on at the bargaining table. We will provide updates and information as they come forward.

Your bargaining committee wants to thank everyone who has reached out to their MLA about bargaining. If you’ve already contacted them once, do it two more times; if you have written an email, make a phone call. Or better yet, make an appointment to meet! Your voices, your experiences and your stories are making a difference… please keep it up. Find your MLA by visiting: http://www.legassembly.sk.ca/mlas/. Lost for words? Here is a letter template for your use.

We encourage you to share your questions and concerns about bargaining with your SEIU-West bargaining committee by contacting us through the Member Resource Center (MRC) at 1-888-999-7348 Ext 2298 or contact us through the “contact us” form on SEIUWEST.ca.

Your participation in your Union makes your Union strong.

In Solidarity,

SEIU-West Bargaining Committee.

Your SEIU-West SAHO Provincial Bargaining Committee:

CHR: Janice Platzke (SEIU-West Treasurer) • FHHR: Brenda Berry; Donna Gallant • HHR: Colleen Denniss • SHR: Judy Denniss; Rick Brown; Simone Corriveau; Kim Wyatt; Charlene Sarafin; • Staff: Bob Laurie (Dir. of Bargaining and Contract Enforcement); Russell Doell (Deputy Dir. of Bargaining and Contract Enforcement); Cam McConnell (Negotiations Officer) • President: Barbara Cape

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