Saskatoon, November 12, 2019
Greeting Sisters and Brothers,
The SEIU-West members at Canadian Blood Services Saskatoon and Regina centers have voted to take strike action. At meetings held on November 6 and 7, 2019, there was a strong turn out and the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of taking job action to advance the members’ demands at the bargaining table.
We are working to schedule meetings to elect local strike committees in Saskatoon and the week of November 18, 2019. These committees will work with the strike oversight committee of the Union to direct all job action. Please note that no member can undertake any job action unless authorized. No action can be taken that is not directed by the local strike committee and the strike oversight committee.
Watch your Union bulletin board and SEIUWEST.ca for the dates and locations of the local strike committee elections meetings. Please plan to attend and think of who you would like to nominate for these committees. The local committee members are a vital part of the solidarity and discipline that are needed for this campaign to succeed.
The Union has also filed an Unfair Labour Practice (ULP) complaint against the Employer because their conduct in these negotiations constitutes refusing to bargain. The Employer is obliged by law to bargain in good faith with the members’ representatives and they have not done that. They have stalled and stonewalled. The members have tried to address their concerns through the bargaining process and they have been ignored. There was no other option but to take that next step.
The Union is also working to resolve the issue of Essential Services and whether or not future actions will be affected. The Employer has insisted that the Union is obliged to negotiate an essential services agreement that would limit our ability to take job actions including a strike. The Union does not agree that the essential services provisions of The Saskatchewan Employment Act apply to this dispute and, more importantly, the Union does not believe that a strike by the SEIU-West members at CBS would endanger the public. A withdrawal of services would put pressure on CBS but it would not materially affect the public, as CBS has other resources to ensure the supply of blood and blood products to the province.
Please watch your union bulletin board and SEIUWEST.ca for further details. You can contact us by calling the MRC at 1-888-999-7348 ext. 2298 or by using the ‘Contact’ form on SEIUWEST.ca. Your bargaining committee thanks you for your support during this extended round of bargaining.
Your SEIU-West bargaining committee:
SEIU-West members: Heather Dyck (Unit Chair, CBS Saskatoon); Leona Woykin (Unit Vice-Chair – retired/CBS Saskatoon); Kristie Pearton (Unit Vice-Chair, CBS Saskatoon); Jason Coombs (Unit Chair, CBS Regina); Nicole Bork (Unit Vice-Chair, CBS Regina); • SEIU-West staff: Cam McConnell (Negotiations Officer); Jennifer Bowes (Union Representative) and Shelley Johnson (Union Representative).