In early December, the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (the LRB) issued a decision about the five former Extendicare facilities. The decision was based on an interpretation of the regulations that governed a previous restructuring of the healthcare system in 1997, commonly called the ‘Dorsey regulations’. In that decision, the Saskatoon and Moose Jaw facilities remain within the SEIU-West family. However, the 3 Regina-based facilities were moved, without a vote of the membership, into the CUPE 5430 jurisdiction.
The SEIU-West Political Action & Education Department is pleased to invite members to apply to attend Build Power, Win Justice. This two-day conference will take place at SEIU-West in Saskatoon on March 19th and 20th, 2024. Interested members can apply by completing this application form.
January 12, 2024
As you may have heard, the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) has announced that its members across Saskatchewan will be conducting a one-day strike on Tuesday, January 16th.
The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (the STF) has been bargaining with the Government and Trustee bargaining committee. They have reached an impasse and are unable to make any progress. The STF has notified their members that they will be holding a vote on sanctions against their employer.
The following Constitutional Amendments were debated, voted on, and passed during Convention:
This win of the week is a great reminder as to why it’s important to investigate and ensure safety in the workplace! SEIU-West found that an Employer failed to provide proper safety-related training after a member was unfairly disciplined. SEIU-West was able to get the discipline heavily reduced in the first stages. When it was found that not only was there a lack of training, there was also improper equipment and a general disregard to safety in the workplace, SEIU-West went back to the Employer and had the discipline removed entirely from the member’s records. Luckily, no one was injured and since then, we have been questioning the Employer and aiming to ensure safety improves at this workplace – an important win for us all.
Are you a SEIU-West member who has never participated in any SEIU-West training before? Then this is the course for you! Unionism 101 is designed for any member who wants to learn more about SEIU-West. It is a beginner course for rank and file members who are not already shop stewards or unit officers. The course will touch on the basics of unions from where dues go to how members stay current on union activities to busting union myths. An introduction to the virtual bulletin board will be included and social media, political action and collective bargaining will be addressed. Basic information will be provided on anti-harassment, bullying and domestic violence at work. There will be a component that connects union principles with inclusivity and support for diversity as well. Truth and Reconciliation as well as the impact of climate change will be touched on in this exciting class. The goal is to reach everyday members and create an understanding of SEIU-West and what makes our union special. Find the closest course location to you and fill out the online or paper registration form, linked below!
- Unionism 101 – Moose Jaw (Course Date: May 28, 2019) - this deadline has passed
- Unionism 101 – Saskatoon (Course Date: May 30, 2019) - this deadline has passed
- Unionism 101 – Swift Current (Course Date: June 5, 2019) - this deadline has passed
NOTE: if you are accepted to attend and are scheduled to work that day, please request union leave from your Employer and they will bill SEIU-West for your lost wages. If you are on a day off, you will be provided with an hourly honoraria. If you have any questions, please email [email protected] and/or [email protected]
Recently, SEIU-West was informed of several workers whose seats on their Occupational Health Committees (OHC) were expiring – in response, our union conducted investigations to determine these vacancies and sent a response back with our appointed members. One Employer aimed to retain the OHC members already on their list but as is outlined in the Saskatchewan Employment Act, unions have the right to determine our representatives on OHC’s where our members work. It is imperative that we retain this right and protect it because we know health and safety must include the feedback and experiences of frontline workers who are there representing their fellow union comrades, and not their Employer.
We’re excited to announce another two live and interactive virtual town hall (VTH) meetings for our health care sector members.
SEIU-West members who are eligible to vote on the SAHO Tentative Agreement (TA) are invited to cast their ballot in advance at any of SEIU-West’s offices (see location information below) on April 11, 2019.
Polls will be open from 7:00 am until 5:00 pm.
An employer at a health care facility wanted to enact a change that would result in housekeeping and maintenance departments losing their carts – something our members value as a tool in completing their work. SEIU-West held a meeting about these member concerns and staff were recently informed the carts would stay. Better yet, staff will now work with residents to paint the carts! This is a great win that benefits residents and their health care providers.
Have a win you’d like to share? Email [email protected] to share the good news!
By Cassidy Stynsky, Young Worker Committee Member
The SEIU-West Young Workers Committee (YWC) is shining a light on issues that often get pushed into the shadows and aims to break down stigma associated with important issues in our communities. In the last installment, the YWC shone a light on domestic violence.
Not only is the YWC shining the light on the campaign Man Up, we are hoping members of SEIU-West will join us in our mission to help redefine what it means to Man Up.
If you don’t know, Man Up is a global challenge and movement that is trying to redefine, reconstruct, and educate society on all types of violence.
With this movement, organizers are educating and working with youth on how to stop gender-based violence, while also promoting gender equality.
The initiative of Man Up is to challenge the stigma, educate, and confront the effects of hyper-masculinity in society.
The YWC has chosen this campaign due to our belief that enforced gender roles should be challenged – it’s okay to be who you are without societal pressures dictating how you should behave.
Man Up hosts and connects with many organizations to provide a voice and education on how to reduce and stop violence – whether it be in the workplace or elsewhere.
This movement is important for all SEIU-West workplaces whether you’re male, female or however you identify; we should be respectful and eliminate violence.
Educating each other on how to redefine what it means to Man Up will improve – if not challenge – those who have experienced violence to use their voice and advocate for those who may feel trapped.
For more information, visit https://www.manupcampaign.org/
By Cameron R. Goodfellow, Registered Technologist Nuclear Medicine (RTNM) & Member of SEIU-West
By day I work alongside many of you in Saskatoon as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. I recently became more involved with our Union as a Shop Steward and I put my name forward to be the SEIU-West representative on the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) Pride and Solidarity Committee. In my spare time, I volunteer on the Board of Saskatoon Diversity Network (SDN), the group that plans the local Pride Festival in Saskatoon.
At the beginning of February, I had an opportunity to attend the Fierte Canada Pride (FCP) Conference in Ottawa. FCP is an organization of Pride Festivals across Canada from coast-to-coast-to-coast that hosts an Annual Conference. This year, Ottawa played host and also enabled Pride Organizations a day of meeting MPs on Parliament Hill to advocate and lobby for strengthening the role of the LGBTQ+ Secretariat. The conference itself consisted of panel discussions on various topics but a first for the FCP Conference was a panel discussion on the Role of Labour and Unions with Pride. Though very Ontario-centric, UFCW and OPSEU were invited to give presentations on how Labour and Pride are not separate entities. Rather, the rights for one are the rights for all.
The one takeaway that I want to stress is how important an annual conference like the FCP is. It is an opportunity for Prides to come together and share their experiences and you learn a lot of different things. Montreal actually has the largest budget in the country, Vancouver gets charged excessive municipal fees, and Saskatoon has one of the better relationships with police in the country.
Personally, I would love to see more involvement of Saskatchewan unions in Pride events this year. Saskatoon Pride Festival takes place June 14-22, 2019. Email [email protected] for more information.
Have you ever thought: “I support reconciliation. I want to do my part, but I’m not sure what to do?”
If so, Reconciliation Saskatoon has put together the ConnectR website (www.beaconnectr.org). It’s an excellent interactive tool for people looking to find a way to help build better relationships between Canada’s Indigenous and settler communities. Its motto nicely describes how it works: “Choose your next step”. There are four “paths”: Spirit, Head, Heart, and Body. Clicking on a path takes you to suggested actions like “Attend a cultural event at your local friendship centre,” “Learn Indigenous teachings about plants,” and “Support Indigenous artisans online.” Each suggestion includes links to further information. You can also access this information by clicking one of the “Themes”, such as “Current Events”, “Facts and Figures”, and “Safe Spaces”.
ConnectR is the latest project of Reconciliation Saskatoon, a partnership of about 100 organizations, including the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, the City of Saskatoon, the Saskatoon Tribal Council, and the Central Urban Métis Federation. Some of the information is Saskatoon-specific, but most of it is useful wherever you live in Saskatchewan.
Check it out. It works well on cellphones too!
Member of Distinction Spring 2019: Corrine Dale
It is always a pleasure seeing the compassion SEIU-West members possess each and every day; not only in the work that they do but in their private lives as well. They give back to their community in so many ways. We were reminded of that again when I was in Humboldt. Corrine Dale is an example of an everyday hero in SEIU-West. She donated a part of her liver to help a young boy whom she did not know or had any previous connection with. She only understood the need and responded with a part of herself so as to enhance someone else’s life. The courage this took is just another example of the kindness our members share in the community. The world is a better place because of Corrine. Thank You!
Written by President Barb Cape
Workplace safety has always been paramount within SEIU-West, regardless of whether you work in education, municipalities, retirement homes, community based organizations or health care. Coming home from work safe is one of the things that drives the work and the campaigns that we do as a union. But what if going home isn’t safe? What if the dangerous conditions aren’t at work,
but are present at home?
Domestic violence IS a union issue…because it doesn’t just stay at home. It follows you mentally, emotionally, physically, and everywhere. It’s not only the pain, exhaustion, or fear, but the abuser can also stalk, intimidate, and threaten the safety of the workplace. An abuser’s presence is a part of the personal and working life of our members who are experiencing domestic violence.
Let’s not kid ourselves, there is stigma attached to domestic violence. And that is simply wrong; we don’t know what others are experiencing or what their world is like, and we know domestic violence rates are high in Saskatchewan. So when we suspect domestic violence, our job as union members should be to support our co-worker; provide a safe person to talk to; and assist in finding help or resources. Our questions shouldn’t be ‘why didn’t they leave?' it should be ‘what can I do to help?’
Domestic violence has gained more awareness in recent years because we need to talk about this issue; there is no hiding from it. It is wrong, unacceptable, and we need to work together to put an end to it. Abusers rely on silence and stigma in order to keep control and continue their behavior; as a union, it is our duty to support our members at work, at home and in the community.
To that end, we provide a two-day Domestic Violence Workshop to ensure our members in the workplace have the knowledge and skills to be an ally and support to survivors; our Young Worker Committee has lobbied the provincial government to provide paid leave for survivors of Domestic Violence; and we have a suggested protocol for what happens when this is disclosed to the employer, including the development of a safety plan for the member, providing professional resources, and tools for the member to take control of the situation.
If you are looking for help or resources, please call the Member Resource Center Centre (MRC) 1-888-999-7348 ext. 2298 who will work to assist. Remember, we’re not only stronger together, but safer as well.
Recently, an employer was found to be promising a position to a member who had less seniority than other candidates eligible for the position. This resulted in a meeting with SEIU-West who demonstrated that many eligible members with more seniority did not even get an interview. The position was re-posted and more interviews took place - as a result, the member with the most seniority was awarded the position! SEIU-West is all about fairness and protecting the rights of workers – we are proud to celebrate this win!
Have a win you’d like to share? Email [email protected] to share the good news!