Tag Archives: Public Service Essential Services Act

MEDIA RELEASE: The Future of Essential Services

For Immediate Release, October 15, 2015

Saskatoon – The members and leaders of SEIU-West are analyzing the details of Bill 183, the new Essential Services legislation that was introduced in the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly today.

“Though there appears to be some improvement, the devil is in the details,” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “We had hoped for a more robust consultation process, however, the government did not begin to seek our input as a labour stakeholder until late August. SEIU-West members believe that taking the time to actually read the proposed legislation and consider its ‘real world’ implications is an important step in this process.”

In January of this year, the Supreme Court struck down the Wall government’s previous essential services law. They gave the government one year to come up with a version that respected the constitutional rights of working people.

“Overall, we’re pleased that there is a binding arbitration process included in the law now,” continued Cape. “We continue to have concerns about accessibility and timeliness of this and other resolution processes and will have to see how these work in practice.”

The new bill does not define what an essential service is unlike previous versions. SEIU-West expects that, in accordance with the interpretations provided by the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), the new law will be applied only to those tasks that are truly essential to the preservation of public health and safety.

“I think the timing of the introduction of this legislation is interesting,” added Cape. “Given the fact that we are headed to the polls on Monday for a federal election, there may be a limited focus on this very important piece of legislation. I hope others afford it the scrutiny it really deserves.”

SEIU-West represents more than 13,000 working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They 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 and they want you to know that purple works in our community! Visit www.PurpleWorks.ca to find out more about the members of SEIU-West who work for the people of Saskatchewan.

– 30 –

For more information, contact:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 306-652-1011 ext. 8733

Fora printable PDF of this media release, click on the link below:

MEDIA RELEASE: The Future of Essential Services

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off on MEDIA RELEASE: The Future of Essential Services

Letter: Essential Services Consultation

I am writing in response to the September 9, 20 15 letter forwarded by Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, Don Morgan. His letter advises of a consultation process being undertaken by government with a planned conclusion date of September 30,2015. To this end, SEIU-West contacted your office and was advised that we could only be offered one date and time for a meeting with a group of other stakeholders and your Ministry representatives. The date provided was September 25, 2015 at 1:30pm. Unfortunately, we have a conflict in our schedule. Given your abbreviated timeline for consultation and the lack of flexibility offered in scheduling an appointment to meet, we will be offering our feedback in this letter. 

We subsequently received a power point presentation which contained pictograph compiled by the Ministry for our review and feedback. It would appear (however it is not abundantly clear) that the pictograph spells out that you will be working off amendments to Bill 128 with reliance upon The Canada Labour Code. We would like to restate our concerns that the constitutionality of this legislation is debatable at best. Further, the pictograph and essential service process continues to be founded upon a flawed premise: that workers and employers in this province have a rough equality of bargaining power. As we have previously reminded, the Supreme Court of Canada unequivocally rejected this premise…

Read the full letter by clicking on the link below:

Letter: Essential Services Consultation – MLRWS M. Carr

Related posts:

Submission to the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety on the Status of Bill 128

MEDIA RELEASE: A Victory for All Working Families

MEDIA RELEASE: Future State of Essential Services

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off on Letter: Essential Services Consultation

Submission to the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety on the Status of Bill 128

Introduction:

In the past three and one-half years SEIU-West, both on its own and in conjunction with the province’s four other large health sector unions, has submitted multiple briefs to the Minister on essential service (ES) legislation.[i] While some of the details of those briefs changed to fit the evolving judicial, legislative and policy context of the ES issue, SEIU-West’s core positions have remained constant. These include:

  • Government must work together with unions on the ES issue. ES legislation must be the result of meaningful, open-minded dialogue.
  • Protection of the health and safety of the public of Saskatchewan is a legitimate factor to be taken into account in ES legislation.
  • In collective bargaining, both parties (employer and union) must be able to trigger binding arbitration on any impasse issues, including all issues involving ES delivery.
  • ES must be defined in legislation in a narrowly-tailored way that makes clear to employers that in the event of a work stoppage ‘business as usual’ is not an acceptable strategy.
  • The Labour Relations Board (LRB) should have no role in ES disputes. The LRB offers no expertise of any particular sector and the work that is done by the employees, so cannot fairly evaluate what work is essential.

As the following brief indicates, we believe that these positions have been vindicated by the recent Supreme Court decisions in SFL v. Saskatchewan[ii] and Mounted Police Association v. Canada.[iii]

 

Click on the link below to read the full submission:

Essential-services_Ministry Consultation

 

[i] The following five briefs are appended below:

[ii] Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v. Saskatchewan, 2015 SCC 4 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/gg40r>

[iii] Mounted Police Association of Ontario v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 1 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/gfxx8>

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off on Submission to the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety on the Status of Bill 128

MEDIA ADVISORY: Supreme Court of Canada Ruling on Charter Challenge

Saskatoon – The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) will hold a press conference in Regina on Friday January 30, 2015 at 10:30 am to respond to decision of the Supreme Court of Canada on the SFL Charter challenge against the government of Saskatchewan. This final ruling will direct whether the province’s Public Service Essential Services Act is deemed unconstitutional.

SEIU-West is inviting Saskatoon area media and other stakeholders to take part in the press conference via tele-conference in their boardroom.

President of SEIU-West, Barbara Cape, will be on hand to provide further comment after the press conference has ended.

Who:  SEIU-West and other stakeholders
Date:  Friday, January 30, 2015
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Location:            SEIU-West office boardroom – Saskatoon
#200 – 747 46th Street W.

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 and they want you to note that purple works in our communities! Visit www.PurpleWorks.ca to find out more about the members of SEIU-West who work for the people of Saskatchewan.

– 30 –

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

For a printable PDF of this media advisory, click on the link below:

Media Advisory: Supreme Court of Canada Ruling on Charter Challenge

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off on MEDIA ADVISORY: Supreme Court of Canada Ruling on Charter Challenge

MEDIA RELEASE: Future State of Essential Services

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 5, 2013

Saskatoon – Members and leaders of SEIU-West are very interested in the new version of the essential services law introduced as Bill 128 in the Saskatchewan provincial legislature on December 4, 2013. It appears that a number of changes will improve the law. However, some hurdles remain.

“SEIU-West has always promoted fair legislation. We continue to take the position that essential services negotiations should not begin with the employer setting out specific classifications and numbers that will be necessary to deliver essential services,” said SEIU-West President Barbara Cape. “We also see the expansion of the scope of the law as a future problem that will need to be addressed.”

SEIU-West has been very vocal about their members’ concerns with the law and has actively participated in the legislative review process.

“We see an improvement in what items need to be considered during the negotiations of essential services as well as the potential resolve for collective bargaining impasse issues,” said SEIU-West Treasurer Janice Platzke. “We have proposed the use of binding interest arbitration as the most effective way to resolve collective bargaining issues when negotiations break down. Though the process of obtaining this third party assistance does seem long, we hope that having access to arbitration will motivate all parties to achieve timely and fair settlements.”

“SEIU-West will take the time to do a complete review of the Bill and provide our feedback to the government,” added Cape. “We hope that continued discussions with the government will lead to a process that works for both our members and for the people of Saskatchewan.”

SEIU-West represents more than thirteen thousand working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They include members who work in healthcare, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors.

– 30 –

For more information, contact:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 306.652.1011 ext. 2250

For a printable PDF of this release, click on the link below:

Media Release: Future State of Essential Services

 

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

MEDIA RELEASE: Charter Appeal to Supreme Court

For Immediate Release: October 17, 2013

Saskatoon – The Supreme Court of Canada released their decision today that they would hear the case of the SFL and the Charter challenge as against the Provincial Government and other public employers including Regional Health Authorities. SEIU-West members and leaders were watching with great interest.

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court of Canada has granted leave to appeal to the SFL and others. While SEIU-West was not granted full party intervenor status today, we will apply to be an intervenor and contribute in a positive way to the ultimate decision from the Supreme Court. Any government needs to be challenged when they pass such laws that have a negative, lasting effect upon all working people in Saskatchewan and beyond our borders,” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West.

“What do we have to offer? Our opinion and our experience is that The Public Service Essential Services Act is a huge obstacle in achieving fair and reasonable collective agreements for our members employed in the public sector. We want to expose the hardships faced by public sector workers who are just trying to get a fair deal in a timely manner,” continued Cape.

As stated on numerous occasions, members of SEIU-West are not opposed to the provision of essential services. The issue is that this essential services law is so flawed that it deletes good faith bargaining altogether.

The Court of Appeal decision on April 26, 2013, determined that The Public Service Essential Services Act was constitutionally valid. This decision followed the earlier determination of Justice Ball, at the Court of Queen’s Bench, which was delivered on February 6, 2012, and found The Public Service Essential Services Act to be unconstitutional because it infringed upon Charter rights and freedoms.

“The only way to restore good faith collective bargaining in this province is to repair the essential services law so that it strikes a fair balance between public good and workers’ rights,” added Cape. “Quite recently, the public learned about the critical need for safe staffing levels in Saskatchewan long term care facilities; why is it that adequate staffing levels can be secured during a job action – but not on a day-to-day basis? We want a decision from the Supreme Court that requires the provincial government to fix this law so it works for everyone, not just the employer.”

SEIU-West represents more than thirteen thousand working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They include members who work in healthcare, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors.

– 30 –

For more information, contact:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 306.652.1011 ext. 2250

For a printable PDF of this media release, click on the link below:
Media Release: Charter Appeal to Supreme Court

 

 

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

Canadian Labour Reporter Article: Saskatchewan Labour Law Passes Third, Final Reading

In May of 2013, Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West, was interviewed by “The Canadian Labour Reporter” on the topic of Bill 85, The Saskatchewan Employment Act. With their permission, we have posted this article below in PDF format.

Saskatchewan Labour Law Passes Third, Final Reading

© Copyright Thomson Reuters Canada Ltd. – June 3, 2013 – Toronto, Ontario, (800) 387-5164 – Web Site: www.labour-reporter.com

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

Media Release: Essential Services Constraints Continue

Regina – The Court of Appeal released their judgment today in the case of the SFL and Intervenor Unions (SEIU-West, CUPE and SUN) against the Provincial Government and others (public employers including Regional Health Authorities). SEIU-West members and leaders are extremely disappointed with the ruling on Essential Services.

“We are dismayed by the decision of the Court of Appeal. It seems a real setback when our provincial government effectively uses a technical argument to persuade the Courts to maintain a law which will have a negative, lasting effect upon all working people in Saskatchewan and beyond our borders,” said Shelly Banks, Vice-President of SEIU-West.

“The determination that The Public Service Essential Services Act is constitutionally valid will only serve to further delay achieving timely, fair and reasonable collective agreements for our members employed in the public sector. It was our hope that the Court of Appeal would have affirmed Justice Ball’s decision and that we could continue to work with the government and fix this law so it works for everyone, not just the employer. The best way to restore good faith collective bargaining in this province is to repair the essential services law,” continued Banks.

Members of SEIU-West are not opposed to the provision of essential services in the context of a collective bargaining impasse because they have always done so. The issue is that this essential services law is flawed so badly it strips the good faith out of the negotiations process.

“We had hoped that the rights of workers would have prevailed in this case,” added Banks. “Unfortunately, this court has decided to pass the buck to the Supreme Court of Canada, thereby ignoring the current hardships faced by public sector workers who are just trying to get a fair deal in a timely manner.”

The appeal, brought by the Provincial Government on March 8, 2012, was in response to the decision of Justice Ball, delivered on February 6, 2012, which found The Public Service Essential Services Act to be unconstitutional because it infringed upon Charter rights and freedoms. The Court of Appeal had suspended Justice Ball’s decision following the November 27 to 29, 2012 hearings until such time as the Court of Appeal ruling was released.

“Our members have wanted to talk about this legislation since 2008. We understand the importance of the work we do, whether it’s in healthcare, education, municipalities or other sectors,” said Banks. “The legislation, as written, does not strike a fair balance between services to the public and workers’ rights.”

SEIU-West represents more than thirteen thousand working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They include members who work in healthcare, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors.

– 30 –

For more information, contact:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator

Phone: 306.652.1011 ext. 2250

 

For a PDF of this Media Release, click on the link below:

Media Release: Essential Services Constraints Continue

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

SEA Red Flag Issue 2: All Hands on Deck!

WEb-Button-rf-2The SEA does NOTHING to address the many problems identified with The Public Service Essential Services Act and the continuing legal stall tactics by the government do not help to address the immediate concerns of those in wait for a fair and equitable collective agreement. How much longer will it take?

We can see the difference – can you?

The SEA maintains all of the provisions of The Public Service Essential Services Act even though the Court of Queen’s Bench has ruled (on February 6, 2012) that this law is unconstitutional.  Since 2008, collective bargaining has become a sham with unfair results for working people.  The government has publicly acknowledged that both the employer and the workers want this fixed.  When will they make the effort to take the unfairness out of essential services and fix this illegal law?

Ask the government when they will fix the Public Services Essential Services Act.

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

Media Release: Saskatchewan Healthcare Unions propose consultation framework for essential services legislation development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Regina, Saskatchewan, March 20th, 2012 – Earlier today the five Saskatchewan Healthcare Unions
submitted a framework for consultation to the provincial government on new essential services legislation that
includes an outline of key essential service principles. The goal is to partner with the government to ensure
that any new legislation developed will protect both the health and safety of the public.

Click below for the full release and backgrounder:

Media Release: Saskatchewan Healthcare Unions propose consultation framework for essential services legislation development

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment