The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is an international labour organization of over 2 million members, uniting workers in three industry sectors to improve their lives and the services they provide. SEIU-West is one of five locals in Canada and is dedicated to representing over 13,000 SEIU-West members in Saskatchewan.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we will be experiencing delays in processing member expenses. We remain focused on ensuring member expenses are processed in an accurate and timely manner. Your patience and understanding during this time is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions, please contact the Member Resource Centre (MRC) by phone 1-888-999-7348, email [email protected], or using the contact form.
For Immediate Release
October 27, 2022
Saskatchewan – Wednesday’s Throne Speech from the SaskParty lacked new and substantive information regarding the government’s plans for this new session in the Legislature. The Throne Speech outlined monetary allocations and plans the SaskParty has already released to the public, including the Health Human Resources Action Plan. This plan is heavily focused on international recruitment, but lacks in real, actionable steps to retain workers currently in the public healthcare sector.
SEIU-West's First Nations, Métis and Inuit Committee is requesting your support to help those in our communities that are struggling with homelessness and housing insecurity.
They plan to fill backpacks with necessities and hand them out to those that could really use a little help.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and SEIU-West have resolved the outstanding grievances filed in response to the Proof of Vaccination/Monitored Testing Program.
October 20, 2022
For Immediate Release
Saskatchewan – Three days before the start of Health Care Providers’ Week in Saskatchewan, SEIU-West members from the healthcare sector and their supporters are marching from the Delta Marriott Downtown to the Saskatoon Cabinet Office to send the provincial government a message: healthcare workers need more than empty words of praise—they need more staff and a raise.
Barbara Cape – President, Neil Colmin – Vice President, Bob Laurie – Director of Contract Bargaining and Enforcement, Katelyn Thibeault – Staff Representative, and Lynette Pinfold – Staff Representative were present.
On October 12, SEIU-West held a townhall meeting through ZOOM with our members who work at the former Extendicare (now SHA) facilities. The following update was provided and then an opportunity to ask questions was held.
You're invited to a Rally for Respect.
We'll be marching from Delta Marriott Downtown (405 20th St. East, Saskatoon) to the Saskatoon Cabinet Office (315 22nd St. East, Saskatoon) at 12:00 pm on Wednesday, October 19.
Welcome to our October Occupation Extravaganza!
October is jam packed with recognition days and weeks. Keep an eye on the Purple Works page to see everyone we're able to highlight this month!
And you know SEIU-West loves to celebrate you, our members. And what better way to do that than a massive month-long contest packed full of prizes!
As most of us know, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, has declared the day of the Queen’s funeral—Monday, September 19—as a day of mourning and has granted federal staff a day off. He has encouraged federally regulated employers to provide a day off and has asked the provinces to do the same. The province of Saskatchewan has decided not to declare September 19 a provincial holiday or to grant provincial employees the day off.
For Immediate Release - September 1, 2022
REGINA: The unions representing health care providers in Saskatchewan are questioning the creation of the Saskatchewan Health Care Recruitment Agency.
Saskatchewan – Late last week, amid facility closures and service disruptions across the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), the SHA quietly released a troubling measure to respond to “staff shortages”.
It is time for the 2022 SEIU-West SAHO/ECI Bargaining Survey!
This survey is for SEIU-West members who work at (or are on leave from) a Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) or SHA-affiliated workplace or program, including Extendicare.
On June 7, SEIU-West held a virtual townhall to talk with SHA members about the Letter of Understanding (LOU) that changes our hours-based seniority system to a seniority date system. The difference is that all hours-based seniority will begin to be transferred to a seniority date.
Elmview, Moose Jaw, Parkside, Preston, and Sunset Extendicare Facilities
New pay rates are effective April 17, 2022.
Dear members of SEIU-West:
We are writing you with an important update related to the recent cyber-attack affecting SEIU-West that we first reported to you late last week on March 11, 2022. We promised to provide you with further updates as more information became available.
Here is what we’ve learned to date:
Dear member of SEIU-West:
We are writing to you with important information about a recent cyber-attack affecting SEIU-West. SEIU-West became aware of this cyber-attack on March, 10 2022, which is believed to have occurred early in the morning of March 10, 2022.
Date: March 7, 2022
Greetings Brothers and Sisters who work at Extendicare Canada’s Elmview, Preston, Moose Jaw, Parkside, and Sunset facilities:
We wanted to update you regarding the implementation of the new collective agreement you approved in January, as well as regarding the transfer of these facilities to the SHA.
Date: March 4, 2022
Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
At long last, we can confirm that our collective agreement is finalized and at the printer!
On January 20, 2022 SEIU-West, the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL), the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation (STF), the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN), SGEU and CUPE Saskatchewan joined together to call on the Government of Saskatchewan to protect our healthcare and education systems and other vital public services from the Omicron wave by immediately following the advice of Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab. The presidents of these six organizations held an unprecedented joint news conference. Today, the joint open letter below was sent to Premier Scott Moe, calling for a a public health order to:
- Limit gathering sizes to a maximum of 10 people.
- Limit the frequency of gathering and establish a consistent “bubble” of close contacts.
- Limit non-school and non-work contacts.
- Limit non-essential travel between communities.
We are starting a week of bargaining with our coalition partners, SGEU and CUPE, and SAHO. We remain hopeful that we can see a breakthrough in this process and be able to present a fair collective agreement to you for consideration. There is still a lot of change and instability within our health system as they transition to the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA); there is a provincial budget being delivered on April 10; and there are rumours of settlements within other areas of the public sector.
Our Provincial Contract Action Team (PROCAT) have been busy meeting in facilities across the province. Talking with members about the actions and activities they can do to build momentum during this round of bargaining. Sometimes bargaining feels like a ‘hurry up and wait’ situation, but there are a number of actions that our members can do to talk about bargaining in the workplace; share the issues within the community; write to the Minister of Health to talk about no cuts or rollbacks. If they haven’t been in your area yet, they will be planning to come out. If you want to set up a meeting, please contact Dennel Pickering at [email protected].
On February 21 and 22, we held another set of telephone town halls with members from across the province. The turn-out was great, and the feedback was even better. The questions that you asked helped focus our work for this week. Today and in the coming updates, we’ll follow up on the remaining questions and answers for you.
#1: Will there be a standardized seniority? (eg: CUPE uses date of hire and SEIU uses hours-based) – Patricia, location unknown.
Every member that I have talked to about seniority would rather keep our hours-based seniority system within SEIU-West. And quite likely, CUPE (date of hire) and SGEU (hours based) members would like to keep their systems. We believe there is a way to maintain the different seniority processes and still ensure that if a member moves to a different region, their seniority can be transferred with them. The issue of seniority is only one of many that we have to address in transitioning to the new SHA.
#2: Can you tell me why there are more jobs being reviewed by JJE when the process has not been completed yet through bargaining? – Jacqueline, Saskatoon.
The Joint Job Evaluation (JJE) plan is being reviewed in its entirety. The plan was established over 15 years ago and there hasn’t been a full review since. And while the plan is going to be reviewed, that doesn’t mean that their current work doesn’t continue. Actually conducting provincial job reviews will provide us with more information about where the plan needs to be improved.
Through bargaining, we have been able to negotiate a LOU that sets out, in the interim, that for jobs where the education factor change has reduced wages, the JJE plan will keep wages at their current rate; where the education factor change has increased wages, the JJE plan will implement those higher wages. In the meantime, the JJE Maintenance Committee will continue to review jobs, and the Committee of the Parties (COPs) will review all factors in the plan to make them more reflective of today’s job requirements.
#3: Wondering if pensions are going to be rolled back – wanting that to be a priority in terms of avoiding that and any wage rollbacks too – Wanda, Saskatoon.
There are no proposals around pension rollbacks. The Saskatchewan Healthcare Employee Pension Plan (SHEPP) is jointly trusteed by both employer and union representatives. Any changes to the pension plan would need to be agreed to by the Pension Trustees and the Pension Partners (also comprised of both employer and union representatives). Avoiding any reductions or rollbacks in both wages and pensions is a priority for your SEIU-West bargaining committee.
#4: We have not had a major wage increase in a long time. How can they even discuss taking things away from us? Tired of having to pay them to work – Elizabeth, location unknown.
The reason cuts and rollbacks are being contemplated by the government is because there is a deficit of $1.5 billion and rather than raising taxes or raising royalty rates, the government is trying to save money within the public sector by asking workers to cut their wages and compensation.
The Sask Party government thought health care workers would be so glad to keep on working they would accept all the cuts and rollbacks without any protest – boy, were they wrong! Members like you have been contacting their MLAs to tell them it’s not fair – it’s bad economic policy and raises a number of questions regarding free collective bargaining. And don’t think that it doesn’t matter – because when the MLA’s get pressure, they add pressure to the Minister of Health and the Premier about concerns from the public. We are asking our members to keep up the pressure and make this government understand how unfair their budget balancing plan is.
#5: How are we supposed to feed our families; educate ourselves to maintain our skills; and pay our bills in the midst of wage cuts?? – Helen, Humboldt.
That’s a brilliant question… and the short answer is I have no idea; these are the very same issues we have been raising at the bargaining table in the face of these cuts. My advice to you is that you need to call your MLA (find your MLA here) and ask him or her that very question. Regardless of whether they are SaskParty or NDP, our elected officials need to be listening to your concerns; they need to provide you with answers, and not some ‘spin’; and they need to take your concerns forward.
#6 Member feels that the government has a huge advantage with us chasing our tails discussing a 3.5% decrease instead of an increase. Any form of discussion on decreases is totally unacceptable, we should be talking about what size increase – Kari, Saskatoon.
We aren’t buying into this notion of the 3.5% reduction. Our members have said – and it’s become our mantra: “NO cuts, NO rollbacks, Treat Us With Respect and Pay Us What We’re Worth!” And we’ll stand by that message and stand by our members. With respect though, I disagree with the idea that government has a huge advantage, because they don’t have our members! Our members are stepping up to phone, email and visit their MLA to hold them accountable on the concessions in bargaining…they are helping to build pressure and momentum to change the mandate at the bargaining table.
#7: Is it possible to add to the bargaining to change family illness leave to family responsibility leave? Language like SUN – Debra, Beechy.
I would have to say that I don’t think that is likely at this point in the process. During our bargaining conference and through the bargaining surveys, this wasn’t identified as a priority for this round of bargaining. That being said, I know that many members keenly feel and see the difference in application of this language.
#8: What is happening with the 3.5% reduction in pay? – Zigerva, location unknown.
As far as we know, it may still be the mandate from the Government of Saskatchewan. But we have not accepted that health care workers should take cuts and rollbacks. Not when we are behind the cost of living. As I’ve mentioned before, our members have said ‘NO!’ to cuts, rollbacks and concessions. My challenge to you is to send a letter to your MLA through our campaign page.
Or, if you would prefer to call your MLA, you can find their contact information – listed by constituency – on the Legislative Assembly website (if you don’t know your constituency, you can look it up by entering your postal code on Elections Saskatchewan).
If you want to actually meet with your MLA, our Political Action & Education department is coordinating group meetings with MLAs. All you have to do is email [email protected] and we’ll work out a plan to get a meeting with your provincial representative.
Whichever way you choose to contact your MLA, be sure to let them know what you do as part of the health care team and how important your work as a health care providers is to your community. And after that, ask your partner/spouse; neighbours; friends and co-workers to do the same thing to provide us with the support and momentum to get their regressive mandate changed.
SEIU-West, SAHO, and the new Saskatchewan Health Authority have reached an agreement with respect to ongoing TOIL (time off in lieu), often a grievance issue.
It is now clear all SEIU-West members under the SAHO collective agreement will be able to bank TOIL if they wish. Scheduling time off remains by mutual agreement. TOIL banks will have a running cap of 100 hours, and banks will be paid out every year in March.
For members currently banking TOIL, the effective date of payout is March, 2019. If a member’s department arrangements currently has no cap or a cap greater than 100 hours, the “better than” remains.
If a member’s department arrangements currently has a cap less than 100 hours, then the cap gets raised to 100 hours, effective right now. If member is denied banking of TOIL, the ability to bank TOIL as per the terms is effective right now. Great work resolving grievances!
"I love helping vulnerable people in need to feel their very best" - Kelsey.
The Prairie School for Union Women (PSUW) is being held in Waskesiu Lake, Saskatchewan from June 10-14, 2018.
The SEIU-West Education Committee will be sponsoring up to five (5) delegates to attend. We will cover registration costs, lost wages, and meal expenses for those meals not provided at the school.
Legal Strike Action Continues
SEIU-West members ratified an agreement with Marian Chateau, Bently Yorkton, and Bently Saskatoon! In their new agreement, members were able to negotiate pay raises of 2%, 1.5% and 1.5% over the next three years. Their education and weekend premium rates also increased, their employer will match payroll deducted RRSP of up to 1% of earning starting January 1 2019, and they achieved an additional personal leave day. These members won many non-monetary goals as well, including updated OH&S language and clarification for the employer to provide uniforms. Awesome work SEIU-West!
World Health Day: PAAC Contest!
Women should never have to choose between groceries or menstrual products. Yet for many women in need, those are the choices that often must be made.
"The best part of my job is the patients, the experiences, and the coworkers" - Tanya.