Date: 3 May, 2023
Location: Saskatoon and Regina
Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
Your SEIU-West bargaining committee has been busy since the last agreement was ratified. We have worked to finalize the print version of the new Collective Agreement and at last it’s been signed and is being printed. We have served notice on the Employer to bargain again. We have met as a committee to prepare proposals based on discussions and consultations with you and based on the concerns that we worked to address last time and still need to improve. We have also met and communicated with the Employer to lay some ground rules for bargaining. Not least of those ground rules is we will insist on a faster process. If needed, we will remind them of the guidance and reprimand from the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board regarding the unfair practice of delaying bargaining in the last round.
We have already disputed Essential Services with the Employer. Just like last time they started off asserting that the essential services provisions of the Saskatchewan Employment Act apply to CBS and therefore to you. They wouldn’t come to the table until we had an essential services agreement. We didn’t agree and it took almost a year to start bargaining. Finally, 2 years later, the Labour Relations Board said the Employer’s essential services demand was an unfair labour practice—they were just stalling. Sometime down the road we might have to deal with essential services after all, but at least they can’t use it to stall this time. We are gradually getting this Employer to bargain fairly but it’s a lot of work. They got reprimanded for other tactics as well last time and they may or may not try them again. We won’t know for a few weeks. However, we are ready and even the fact that we will know sooner is a win. If the Employer tries to tell you, hint, or imply that essential services legislation applies to you don’t argue, but please let us know. And don’t forget, it isn’t true.
During this round of bargaining, we will focus on addressing concerns with work of the bargaining unit, the administration of rest days and work schedules, the provisions for adverse weather on mobile clinics, scheduling of days and weekends off, and several monetary issues in addition to general wage increases such as reimbursements and allowances. Most of all we will focus on getting you a fair compensation package in a timely manner.
We are scheduled to meet with the Employer’s committee on May 17, 18, and 19 to begin bargaining. In order to keep you informed and keep ourselves up to speed on what to tell the Employer at the table we are holding bargaining information meetings remotely at 10:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on June 5, 2023. Please watch your email and bulletin board for invitations, announcements, and meeting links. By that time, we will know what’s on the table and what approach the Employer is going to take in this round. Please plan to join us and please forward any questions or comments to the members of the bargaining committee or the member resources centre and they will pass them on.
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); Marj Markwart (SEIU-West Union Representative) and Shelley Johnson (SEIU-West Union Representative).