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:
SEIU-West is proud to join the celebrations of National Therapeutic Recreation Month in February! Our members who work as therapeutic Recreation Coordinators and Recreation Workers are an essential piece of the health care team. Their work ensures residents, patients, and clients are able to reach their full potential and members like John, love what they do.
John, a therapeutic Recreation Coordinator at Parkside Extendicare, loves providing the residents a great quality of care and being able to engage in their daily lives. As a Recreation Coordinator, John provides programming that benefits the residents’ emotional, physical, spiritual, and social aspects of their daily lives. He particularly appreciates seeing the smiles on residents’ faces.
In recognition of National Therapeutic Recreation Month, SEIU-Wests asks that you tell us why Therapeutic Recreation is important to you. Let us know by emailing Catherine.Gendron@seiuwest by February 28, 2019 for your chance to win a prize from a selection of gift cards!
Did you know that legally, your employer needs to provide you with your T4 slips on or before the last day of February following the calendar year to which the slips apply.
So, you should receive your 2018 T4 on or before Thursday, February 28, 2019.
This year, for employees of the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), the Employer is providing copies of T4s in electronic format through Gateway Online and will not be automatically sending out paper copies.
If you are expecting a 2018 T4 from the SHA and do not want to or cannot use the gateway online system, you can request a paper copy from your manager.
Make your request in writing and date it (the Employer may have a form for this) and then give it to your manager.
After receiving a request, the Employer must ensure that it provides two copies of the T4 slip, in paper format, to the employee in person or by mail.
For more information on T4s visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/businesses/topics/payroll/completing-filing-information-returns/t4-information-employers/t4-slip/distribute-your-t4-slips.html
If you have questions related to this topic or your collective agreement, contact your Member Resource Centre (MRC) at 1-888-999-7348 ext. 2298.
The Education Committee will be sponsoring up to eight (8) delegates to attend the SFL/CLC Spring School being held at the Temple Gardens Hotel and Spa on May 6-10, 2019. The Committee will cover registration costs, lost wages, travel costs and meal expenses for those who are selected to attend.
The deadline to apply has now passed.
The SEIU-West Young Workers Committee (YWC) understands that everyone knows someone who lives with or is affected by mental illness. The YWC also recognizes it is important to talk about mental health in order to break down the stigma around mental illness. That’s why they’re supporting the Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 30. This initiative is meant to spark a public conversation about mental illness, and encourage funding for mental health services.
In recognition of Bell Let’s Talk Day, the YWC is launching a contest in order to help spread awareness around mental health. The YWC wants to support the hardworking members of SEIU-West and knows many people find it good for their mental health to go relax and see a movie – so by entering you could win a $50 gift card to your local movie theatre!
How to enter: take a picture of yourself with a sign talking about mental health to support Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 30, then send the picture to [email protected]. The picture could be about your experiences with mental health, what mental health means to you, what services we need, or a supportive message – it’s up to you! To start us off, we have Brittney, YWC member, demonstrating that mental illness is not something to be ashamed of.
Together we can stop the stigma and increase support for strong mental health services!
Please send your pictures to [email protected] on Wednesday, January 30.
What happens when workers come together to improve their workplace environment and communities? They see big wins! This week, members at Variety Place just voted in favour of a 4.5% general wage increase – this agreement is retroactive to April 1, 2018. Direct Care Workers at Variety Place are continuing to bargain for subsequent years and are working together to ensure their work is valued. They know that they deserve fair wages and when we achieve our goals, we raise the floor for all workers – way to go!
Are you a member of your facility's Occupational Health Committee (OHC)?
If so, we encourage you to apply for our new SEIU-West course, Occupational Health and Safety: Knowledge to Action!
This course is designed for SEIU-West (OHC) members and alternates. The participants will leave with a better understanding of their role on the OHC and will be prepared to address issues such as workload, stress, harassment and mental health at the OHC level. The deadline to apply is February 6, 2019! This deadline has now passed.
Every year, Saskatchewan communities celebrate Family Literacy Day on January 27, and in recognition, SEIU-West is excited to announce our annual Family Literacy Day Contest!
We know SEIU-West members value the power of books because they are an opportunity for us to sit back and relax, learn something new, or take our imagination to places we’ve never been.
This Family Literacy Day, we want to share our members’ favourite books with each other in order to expand our ‘to-read’ lists for 2019!
So for this year’s contest, we want to know: what was your favourite book you read in 2018 and why?
To qualify, share your favourite 2018 read with us by January 30, 2019.
All entries will be entered into a draw – if selected, you could win a gift card to a local restaurant, performance, and/or movies tickets.
Who knows, your top 2018 book might become someone’s top 2019 read? We’ll be posting entries on our Facebook page.
In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8, SEIU-West is participating in the Labour & United Way Partnership’s 3rd Annual Tampon Tuesday collection drive.
Menstrual products are a necessity, but they’re also expensive – this creates barriers for many women to access what should be a basic right. Women and girls who live in poverty often have to choose between food or feminine hygiene products. For homeless women it is even worse.
While there are on-going campaigns to ensure free access to menstrual products in Canada, we’re not there yet. That’s why each SEIU-West office is participating in Tampon Tuesday, a collection drive that provides SEIU-West members the opportunity to collect and support the provision of menstrual products to women in need.
WHEN: All SEIU-West Offices will be collecting products until March 15, 2019.
Saskatoon Drop-Off Location (items will be donated to the United Way Saskatoon and Area for distribution):
#200 – 747 46th Street West
Open Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm
Moose Jaw Drop-Off Location (items will be donated to a local women’s shelter):
39 Athabasca Street West
Open Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm
Swift Current Drop-Off Location (items will be donated to a local women’s shelter):
333 Central Avenue North
Open Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm
You can also take up your own workplace tampon collection drive! Click to download the Collection Drive Registration form.
If you’re in Saskatoon, there is a special Tampon Tuesday event on March 12 as well – hope you can make it! Let’s end the stigma and work together to ensure access to menstrual products for all women.
January 21, 2019
Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
The provider unions, SEIU-West, CUPE, and SGEU have concluded a letter of understanding (LOU) with SAHO and the employer regarding the education factor in the JJE plan.
The LOU sets out that, when there is information available about changes to the education required for a job classification; the unions, SAHO, and the employer, will jointly assess the changes. If the key work activities, duties, responsibilities and/or qualifications have not changed, the education factor rating for the JJE plan job classification will not change.
In order for there to be a change to the education factor rating for the JJE plan job classification, another factor rating, such as decision making, impact of action, sensory demand, etc. would have to change as well.
If the unions, SAHO, and the employer cannot agree on the education factor assessment, there will be an independent review of the education factor rating by third party adjudicator.
This new education factor review process will apply to all new job classifications created with the same educational requirement as existing classifications.
Your SEIU-West SAHO Provincial Bargaining Committee:
CHR: Janice Platzke (SEIU-West Treasurer) • FHHR: Brenda Berry; Donna Gallant • HHR: Colleen Denniss • SHR: Judy Denniss; Rick Brown; Simone Corriveau; Kim Wyatt; Charlene Sarafin; • Staff: Bob Laurie (Dir. of Bargaining and Contract Enforcement); Russell Doell (Deputy Dir. of Bargaining and Contract Enforcement); Cam McConnell (Negotiations Officer) • President: Barbara Cape
Communication… it’s key to explaining yourself; being responsible for your actions; and working to do better for everyone. Whether you are a shop steward, the Premier of a province, or a union President, we all have a responsibility to communicate as effectively as possible. I’ve had the opportunity to talk with our members, shop stewards, staff, and even our Minister of Health and the message that keeps rising to the top is how we need to communicate better.
Our members have been earnest in their effort to communicate with their Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) about concerns with funding in the education sector; short staffing in the health care sector; a lack of accountability in the Community-Based Organization (CBO) sector… and always, bargaining! The public deserves quality services that their taxes pay for. And the people who provide those services deserve a decent wage… there’s nothing controversial about that.
But I don’t think that the politicians have been very forthright or honest in their responses. Recently, our Minister of Health said publicly – in the news – that funding in long-term care has been increased by 40%... since when?! Since the 1980’s? Let’s be frank, we haven’t felt a real increase in funding for public sector services for a very long time. It’s actually quite demoralizing that our Minister of Health makes this kind of public statement when those who provide hands-on care report unsafe staffing levels in long-term care on a chronic basis. Previously, our Minister of Finance has reported to media that the 3.5% cuts were off the bargaining table for all public sector workers… but who else did she tell?! Because there are plenty of bargaining tables where the cuts are
still a living proposal!
We have called for public audits in the CBO sector to ensure that the funding is actually reaching the front line for staff and clients… but the Minister of Social Services didn’t even respond… all we have heard are crickets! For a government that keeps talking about consulting, transparency, and accountability, it’s interesting that they have such a checkered record.
We should all be accountable – not just at election times. And we need to recognize that the key to building our workplace, our union, and our province is creating a space where more people can be heard; where we can answer questions with honesty, not political spin; and where we can make sure that we are actually lifting up the people of this province… not picking winners and losers.
Sometimes we’re moving so fast that we don’t take the time to communicate – to explain – to consult – to actively listen – effectively... and it’s frustrating! So maybe, the first step in changing our communications is to start telling the truth… we can do better.
SEIU-West members at Parkridge Centre in Saskatoon launched a drive to help seniors in our community. A lot of seniors don’t have enough money at the end of the month to get few extra things they might want or need. To fill that void, our unit has set up “purple boxes” in various locations throughout Parkridge to collect items. Even our families have gotten involved. Some of our
members’ grandchildren have gotten into the project by creating colourful signs that invite donations. All the items collected will be distributed in the community with help from the United Way of Saskatoon.
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 by interviewing experts in the field. In the last installment, the YWC shone a light on mental health. In this issue, YWC member Brittney interviews Andrea Howe from the United Way of Saskatoon about domestic violence.
Q: Why is there stigma associated with Domestic Violence (DV)?
A: Some reasons why stigma is often associated with DV are because individuals either do not understand the issue; are not educated about the issue; and/or believe it is a private issue.
Q: How does the stigma affect someone who is seeking help?
Some reasons why stigma could deter a woman from seeking help are she may be ashamed; be fearful about being judged; be afraid to be on her own; be afraid of losing her job; and/or not know what resources or supports are available to her.
Q: How do you help someone who discloses at work that they are a victim of Domestic Violence?
Your role is to show concern and offer support. Do not try to “fix” the situation. Below is a list of ways to assist if a co-worker discloses that she is a victim of DV:
- Tell her you believe her and will support her
- Suggest speaking with a union staff rep to talk about supports available
- Be prepared with information about where to find help at work and in the community
- Ensure she is included in all the decision-making and respect her decisions – even if you do not agree with her choices
How can SEIU-West members help de-stigmatize DV?
SEIU-West members can help by:
- Completing the two-day DV training offered by SEIU-West. Your union is the first union in Saskatchewan who has offered the two-day training to its members because this issue is important! Encourage other members to take the training too.
- Starting the conversation – at work; at the kitchen table; at the gym – the more we talk about this issue, the less stigma will be attached to it
- Continuing to advocate and lobby for better legislation for DV protections and entitlements
- Bargaining for DV leave and supports into your collective agreement