Saskatchewan – SEIU-West members working at Canadian Blood Services (CBS) in Regina and Saskatoon have voted to accept the tentative agreement reached with their employer after five long years of unnecessary delay.
“Our members have fought hard to make some gains with their employer,” says Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “Finally, CBS has agreed to our members’ proposals instead of imposing their will upon their staff.”
In a decision released on April 6, the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (SLRB) ruled that Canadian Blood Services engaged in unfair labour practices in their negotiations with their staff’s union, SEIU-West. The SLRB said CBS’s conduct “crossed over into an unacceptable avoidance of its collective bargaining responsibilities.” The SLRB specifically noted that CBS ignored and stalled SEIU-West’s formal requests to bargain for more than 14 months. When CBS finally came to the table, they declined to respond to the Union’s carefully developed proposals and refused to discuss wage rates. The SLRB determined that these efforts to “subvert, frustrate, or avoid” the collective bargaining process are, a clear violation of the Saskatchewan Employment Act.
This is a victory for SEIU-West members finally overcoming the Employer’s deliberate delay tactics. CBS avoided bargaining through legal wrangling and delays, but finally had no choice but to sit down and reach a deal. The agreement includes modest wage increases over a 6-year period, a modest signing bonus, increases to some expense reimbursement rates, small increases to the premiums for training and special assignments, recognition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday, and some gains pertaining to scheduling.
Both sides had to compromise in order to reach a deal, but that’s how fair and honest bargaining works. Something SEIU-West members have made clear is their tenacity and firm conviction that a negotiated agreement is the best agreement. SEIU-West members have also laid the groundwork for a very different—and much better—process in the next round of bargaining, which starts in just a few short months.
“CBS should now know what everyone else knows: deliberate delay is not okay and our members will be ready for the next round of negotiations,” adds Cape.
Service Employees International Union West (SEIU-West) represents over 13,000 people across Saskatchewan. They include people who work in health care, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors. They are joined by one colour—purple—and one union—SEIU-West. Visit PurpleWorks.ca to find out more about SEIU-West members.
For more information, contact:
Communications Coordinator, SEIU-West
306-652-1011 ext. 2244