Tag Archives: Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations

SEIU-West/SAHO Bargaining Update No. 1

Print off your copy of your SEIU-West/SAHO Bargaining Update No.1

Greetings Sisters and Brothers,

On March 7, the coalition of health provider unions (SEIU-West, CUPE and SGEU) had our first meeting with the Sask. Association of Healthcare Organizations (SAHO) to begin the process of bargaining our new collective agreements. The parties did not formally exchange proposal packages, rather our discussions dealt with processes (traditional or collaborative) of negotiations, logistics, and some of the outside factors that could influence bargaining. When we talk about ‘outside factors’ we mean government.

You see government is not supposed to interfere in collective bargaining; while it is the funder of health care, the system is run by the regional health authorities. The theory behind this relationship is to let the employers (RHA’s) and their negotiator (SAHO) achieve the best deal at the bargaining table without the influence/interference of politicians. Sadly, for everyone involved, government decided to interfere significantly.

In the middle of our meeting, while the provider unions were caucusing, SAHO came back into the room to deliver a message on behalf of the Minister of Finance. As many of you will have heard or read about, the Minister of Finance wrote to each union to outline that government Ministers and Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA’s) were being asked to take a 3.5% wage reduction. Further to that, their political staffers were going to agree (voluntold?) to nine unpaid days off per year (equivalent to 3.5%). We were then ‘invited’ to give the government our ideas around how the unions were going to achieve the savings target within the public sector.

Let’s be clear here, politicians make a heck of a lot more than most health care workers; the base salary of an MLA is approximately $96,000/year…a 3.5% reduction brings their salary down to approximately $93,000/year. Compare that same 3.5% reduction for someone working on the front line of health care for $20-$30/hour… a 3.5% reduction is like losing approximately two weeks of pay per year! That is a significantly different impact on a household budget!!

This hard target by the Sask Party government comes literally in the middle of our very first meeting with SAHO and the health regions to begin bargaining. The provider unions are now facing the threat of concession demands at the bargaining table, another reorganization of the health care structure (and the inevitable resulting chaos), changes in the governance of our benefit plans, and now this?!

This round of bargaining is going to be difficult, it’s going to be troubled and it’s going to test all of us. You have heard this before, every round of bargaining is more difficult than the last. We need all of our members to stand up with their union bargaining committee to demonstrate your support and determination that we need a fair and reasonable collective agreement that we can accept.

We have decided to set additional dates to meet after the upcoming budget address on March 22, where we may get further information about the Minister of Finance and the government’s targets and directions. We will be meeting with our bargaining committees and our coalition of unions to analyze the potential impact to our proposals and establish bargaining plans.

We encourage you to share your questions and concerns about bargaining with the SEIU-West bargaining committee by contacting us through the Member Resource Center 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,

Your SEIU-West 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); Kerry Barrett (Negotiations Officer) • President: Barbara Cape

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Benefits Presentations – 3sHealth

Please note that these sessions are afforded for those members who are enrolled in the Extended Health & Enhanced Dental Benefits Plan administered by 3s Health (previously SAHO).

Are you an SEIU-West member who has questions about your benefits plan? If so, these sessions are for you. Register today!

Location

 

Date and Time

 

Register

 

Saskatoon

200 – 747 46th Street West 

(Basement/main level)

May 2

7:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Email Tara.Hessie@seiuwest.ca

Phone 306.773.2536 x 3221

Saskatoon

200 – 747 46th Street West

(Large Board Room on 2nd floor)

May 3

10:30 am – 1:00 pm

 

CANCELLED

Moose Jaw

39 Athabasca Street West

May 3

7:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Email Tara.Hessie@seiuwest.ca

Phone 306.773.2536 x 3221

Moose Jaw

39 Athabasca Street West 

May 4

9:00 am – 11:30 am

 

CANCELLED

Swift Current

333 Central Avenue North

May 4

7:00 pm – 9:30 pm

 

CANCELLED 

 

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Benefit Plan Enhancements for SEIU-West members who participate in the 3sHealth Benefits Plans

Effective July 1, 2015, the 3sHealth Extended Health Care Plan will be providing increased Hearing Aid coverage to plan members. Charges for the cost of, repair (excluding batteries or routine maintenance of) and installation of a hearing aid(s) purchased on the written recommendation of an audiologist will be covered to a maximum amount payable of $1,500 per insured person every five consecutive calendar years. This is an increase from the current coverage amount of $500 per insured person every five consecutive calendar years.

The new $1,500 hearing aid maximum will be applied to all eligible plan members. For example: if you purchased hearing aids on July 20, 2014 and received the $500 reimbursement, you will be eligible for the additional $1,000 in coverage between July 1, 2015 and December 31, 2019 (5 consecutive calendar years from the July 20, 2014 date of purchase).  On January 1, 2020 the plan member will be eligible for the $1,500 maximum amount.

Effective July 1, 2015 the 3sHealth Enhanced Dental Plan will be providing increased orthodontic coverage. The dependent child orthodontic lifetime maximum will be increasing from $1,500 to $2,500 per eligible dependent child. Adult orthodontic coverage is also being added at a $1,500 lifetime maximum. The adult orthodontic coverage applies to both the plan member and eligible spouse.

The new dependent child $2,500 orthodontic maximum will be applied to all eligible plan members. For example: if you purchased orthodontic services and previously reached the $1,500 orthodontic maximum, you will be eligible for the additional $1,000 in coverage effective July 1, 2015. Only expenses incurred after July 1, 2015 in accordance with an approved orthodontic treatment plan will be eligible. If orthodontic treatment concluded prior to July 1, 2015, those expenses are not eligible. Second example: if you reached the $1,500 orthodontic maximum on February 28, 2015, but your child is still undergoing orthodontic treatment, charges from March, April, May, and June 2015 are not eligible. However charges incurred from July 1, 2015 forward would be eligible up to $1,000.

If you have any questions about these plan enhancements and/or whether you are eligible to participate in the 3sHealth Benefits Plans, please contact a 3sHealth Benefit Services Officer at 1.866.278.2301 or by email at ebp@3shealth.ca.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact your SEIU-West Member Resource Centre (MRC) at 1.888.999.7348.

 

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SHEPP Information Session: Saskatoon (evening)

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SHEPP Information Session: Saskatoon (afternoon)

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SHEPP Information Session: Swift Current

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SHEPP Information Session: Moose Jaw

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MEDIA RELEASE: Unfair Bargaining – A Signal for Our Future?

FOR MEDIA RELEASE: APRIL 14, 2014

Saskatoon – Members and leaders of the Service Employees International Union West (SEIU-West) were extremely disappointed with the decision of the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (SLRB) on April 10, 2014.

The SLRB decision acknowledged that the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO) did commit an unfair labour practice related to a retro pay issue during the provincial bargaining process beginning in 2008 against the health provider unions (including Saskatchewan Government & General Employees’ Union (SGEU), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and SEIU-West). All other allegations raised by the unions which were based on prior decisions were dismissed by the board. In particular, the decision is not consistent with prior decisions regarding the onus of the employer to provide information when needed at a bargaining table. In addition, the SLRB interpretation of the 2008 amendments to The Trade Union Act provided an overly broad interpretation that will only invite employers, in the future, to interfere with the role of trade unions to bargain on behalf of their members and cause unnecessary labour relations unrest.

“We are at a loss. In our view, there are many aspects of this decision that do not make sense in promoting good faith bargaining; we believe this will have a staggering impact on future negotiations,” added Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “While the provincial government indicated in 2008 that their amendments would create a “fair and balanced” environment for workers, unions and employers, this decision does quite the opposite. It enables the employer to undermine the negotiations process via member and public persuasion techniques using expensive direct advertising campaigns focused on intimidation and coercion.”

SEIU-West leaders see this decision as a real obstacle towards the creation of positive labour relations, and the building of partnerships in the public sector with an emphasis upon improved services and integrity in relations.

SEIU-West represents approximately twelve thousand health care providers in the province of Saskatchewan. They include special care aides, licensed practical nurses, diagnostic and therapeutic technologists, food service workers, laundry, housekeeping and activity personnel, maintenance, sterile processing workers and administrative staff, among others.

– 30 –

For more information, contact:
Shawna Colpitts, Director

To Download a PDF of this media release, click on the link below:

MEDIA RELEASE: Unfair Bargaining – A Signal for Our Future?

 

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SEIU-West/SAHO Bargaining Update no. 28

We wanted to provide you with a status up date on the implementation of the collective agreement that SEIU-West members voted to accept on Jan 21, 2014. Notice of ratification between SAHO and SEIU-West was exchanged on Jan. 24, 2014.

Click on the link below to download the printable PDF of the update:

SEIU-West/SAHO Bargaining Update no. 28

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SEIU-West/SAHO Memorandum of Tentative Agreement

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