Date: September 29, 2021

Location: Saskatoon

Greetings Sisters and Brothers,

After the CBS membership voted overwhelmingly to reject the Employer’s latest offer on June 8th, we updated you all on your bargaining committee’s next steps on the 18th of June. The committee met with the Employer to present them with a proposal to resolve collective bargaining successfully. However, the Employer refused to consider our proposal, instead maintaining their last offer. We now have to consider taking further steps including job action in order to advance the members’ legitimate interest and get a fair resolution to bargaining.

To be clear, the committee met with the Employer and the Government conciliator on September 14, 2021. We tabled a proposal for a six year contract from 2017 to 2023 that included the same wage increases that have been agreed at provincial health care bargaining, 0%, 0% 1%, 2%, 2% and 2% and a signing bonus of $1000.00 for all employees on staff at the time of signing. We also modified our previous non-monetary positions but maintained proposals to deal with hours of work (mandating and schedule changes), work on consecutive weekends and proposals to address Health and Safety concerns, sick notes and work of the bargaining unit issues. We pointed out that our proposal for wage increases was basically the same as what the Employer tabled in May.

We acknowledged the Employer’s concern about the proposed signing bonus but pointed out that the members working at CBS had not received anything to address the risks, challenges and sacrifices of working through Covid and that accepting zeroes in 2017 and 2018 was a major concession to the Employer’s demands. We also pointed out that our non-monetary proposals were modest steps to resolve significant workplace irritants and create a better working relationship for everyone.

The Employer refused to consider our proposal package. They continued to insist that any wage settlement had to mirror what another health care union received. CBS does not seem to understand that all three health provider unions receive the same remuneration package through the jointly negotiated pay equity plan.

Conciliation with a government mediator did not appear to be taken seriously by the Employer. The SEIU-West bargaining committee indicated it would go back to the members, report the bad news and talk about next steps we can take, including job action, to compel the Employer to come back to the table and get serious about concluding bargaining.

We will be holding two information meetings via Zoom on the following dates:

• Tuesday October 5, 2021 at 6:30 pm
• Wednesday October 6, 2021 at 3:00 pm

Please watch your email for an invitation to the meetings. If you don’t receive one by Monday please contact your Unit Executive or one of the bargaining committee members.

Barb Cape, President of SEIU-West and Cam McConnell will be there to provide more information, answer any questions, and talk about what comes next including a campaign to pressure the Employer and what steps we can take to start some kind of job action. We have to be smart about how we identify and provide essential services, if required, and not give the Employer an opportunity to avoid bargaining even longer.

Further details of the meeting start times and access information will be provided in the coming days. There’s a lot to talk about and a lot at stake – far too much to address in this announcement – so please plan to attend.

The Union and the bargaining committee members thank you for your patience and solidarity and congratulate everyone for continuing to provide valuable services to the public through this challenging time.

Your SEIU-West bargaining committee:

SEIU-West members: Heather Dyck (Unit Chair, CBS Saskatoon); Kristie Pearton (Unit Vice-Chair, CBS Saskatoon); Jason Coombs (Bargaining Committee member, CBS Regina); Tanya Palaniuk (Bargaining Committee member, CBS Regina); • SEIU-West staff: Cam McConnell (Negotiations Officer); and Shelley Johnson (Union Representative).

To download a copy of this bulletin as a PDF, please click here.

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