For Immediate Release - November 20, 2020
Tentative Agreement Reached – SEIU-West Members to Vote
Saskatoon – After over 1300 days without a new collective agreement, SEIU-West members achieved a tentative agreement (TA) with SAHO and the Employers late on Thursday November 19th.
“Our members have been engaged and vocal and active in sending letters to decision makers and local papers; signing and submitting petitions to the government; holding physically distanced public #DoneWaiting demonstrations; and meeting with their MLAs (prior to the pandemic). All of these actions have made a difference in getting us to this point,” says Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “Bargaining in the midst of a worldwide pandemic has been challenging. For the SEIU-West bargaining committee, ensuring the work our members do on the front line of this pandemic is recognized has been our priority."
In the coming weeks, SEIU-West health care members will be meeting by video and tele-conference to review the details of the agreement prior to voting. Details of the agreement will not be released publicly until after the members have voted.
“Our members have been working hard, without fail or falter, without a new collective agreement since March 31, 2017,” adds Cape. “They will get to review the terms of the tentative agreement, ask questions, and they will get to express their opinion through their vote.”
According to The Saskatchewan Employment Act (SEA), the parties have 60 days to ratify this agreement.
“Unfortunately, this agreement cannot by itself address the critical understaffing situation in the sector,” continues Cape. “We need real collaboration between government, the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Unions so we can make substantial improvements in the system.”
“Our government needs to invest in the front line services that are offered in our health care system by really working with us in meaningful ways. They need to appreciate that ‘care’ in health is interconnected among hospitals, long-term care, home care, and community and mental health services.”
There are over 11,500 SEIU-West members who work in clerical/administrative and financial classifications; maintenance classifications; laboratory, diagnostic and information services classifications; patient care and therapy classifications; and support classifications in health care.
Our members are the front line experts who can help them see what is truly going on. They are all essential to the provision of frontline health care.
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:
Karman Kawchuk, Research Coordinator