Currently At The Table

Current Contract:

Collective Agreement Between Canadian Blood Services and SEIU-West - April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2017

SEIU-West Union Representatives:

Shelley Johnson and Marg Markwart

Serviced out of:

Moose Jaw (Shelley Johnson)
39 Athabasca Street West
Moose Jaw, SK S6H 2B6
Phone: 306.693.7922
Fax: 306.692.2807

Saskatoon (Marg Markwart)
#200 - 747 46 St West
Saskatoon, SK S7L6A1
Phone: 306.652.1011
Fax: 306.652.1392

Bargaining Bulletin No. 8 Canadian Blood Services

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.

Canadian Blood Services: Bargaining Bulletin No. 7

Date:

June 18, 2021

Location:

Saskatoon

Greetings Sisters and Brothers,

In our last update we announced that the Union would hold a ratification vote on the Employer’s last offer, made at conciliation. The vote was held on June 8, 2021 and the members rejected the Employer’s offer by an overwhelming margin.

As you all know, your bargaining committee has been trying to bargain for a collective agreement for a very long time. For all of that time the Employer has maintained the same position on wages--you get what CUPE gets. The Union told them way back then that we didn’t think that was fair and that it wouldn’t work. We asked them to bargain for something that was fair and that would work. That was almost 5 years ago.  The Union warned the Employer that its final offer (which was basically the same as its previous offers) would probably not be accepted by the membership. The Union has informed the Employer that the membership has voted no to their last offer and has asked them to return to the bargaining table. The Employer has agreed to meet again to bargain but also advised that they will not initiate the next round of bargaining by bringing a new proposal.

The Union and your bargaining committee has tried everything, including getting the help of a conciliator and finally taking strike votes on November 6 & 7, 2019 to get the Employer to make a fair and reasonable offer that the members would accept. The Employer, in order to deny the members the right to strike, responded by asserting that the parties need to meet the essential services provisions of the Saskatchewan Employment Act. The Union has filed an Unfair Labour Practice complaint with the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (SLRB) asserting that the Employer is refusing to bargain and that they are using essential services legislation to influence bargaining and not to protect the public. We sought a hearing with the SLRB to make our case that we don’t think the essential services provisions apply to CBS. That hearing was long delayed for a lot of reasons, but began on June 14, 2021, and will continue in October 2021.

In the meantime the Union will continue to try to find a way to bargain for a fair collective agreement with the Employer. The Union’s bargaining committee will be meeting in the week of the June 21 to plan the next step in bringing the Employer back to the table and getting an offer that your committee can recommend for ratification. Please watch for further updates.

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); Shelley Johnson (Union Representative).

To download this update in PDF format, please click here. 

Canadian Blood Services: Bargaining Bulletin No. 6

Click here to download the printable PDF of this Update.

Date: May 31, 2021

Location: Saskatoon

Greetings Sisters and Brothers,The Union and the Employer met on the May 12, 13, 18, 19, and 20 to bargain with the assistance of a conciliator from the Department of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety. The Union’s committee did a lot of hard work and made some hard concessions in order to try to achieve a collective agreement. However, no matter how hard we tried and despite the best efforts of the conciliator the Employer refused to offer anything except a statement that CBS employees would be provided the same pay increases that CUPE members working in provincial health care get.

Letter to the Federal Minister of Health and the CEO of Canadian Blood Services

Dear Honourable Patty Hajdu and Dr. Graham Sher

RE: Canadian Blood Services Regina & Saskatoon Saskatchewan

I write to you both on behalf of our members who work on the front line providing donor care in Saskatchewan. These members have been without a contract since March 31, 2017. The main impediment to resolving these negotiations, achieving a contract and labour stability, has been reaching an agreement to provide stable and secure employment for these valuable workers.

 

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