The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is the largest and fastest growing in North America with over 2.1 million members. SEIU-West is the second largest SEIU Local in Canada, and represents more than 13,000 working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They work in health care, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors.
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.
Do you want to be more active in your union? Are you 35 years old or younger? Great news!! You're eligible to attend the 2022 Young Workers' Conference!
The next round of collective bargaining with the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO) and Extendicare Canada Inc. (ECI) will begin in the coming months and we are looking for SEIU-West members to make up our bargaining committee.
SEIU-West's Aboriginal Committee met on May 31 and has many exciting initiatives coming up.
We'd like to share a list of June events and ask that you join us in celebrations of National Indigenous History Month and work towards Reconciliation in Saskatchewan.
Email [email protected] if you'd like to walk with us in Saskatoon for Rock your Roots for Reconciliation!
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.
"I take pleasure in the important communication that is involved with Care Aide work" - Cheryl.
NOTE: The deadline to submit your feedback through the bargaining survey has passed.
Want to be a part of the SAHO/Extendicare bargaining conference?
Complete and return your Bargaining Conference Registration Form by September 12, 2016.
Want to be a part of the SAHO Bargaining team?
Complete and return this Expression of Interest form by August 31, 2016.
A Report from the Political Action and Awareness Committee Co-Chair, Dennel Pickering
Devin Tepleski from Iron and Earth presented about an initiative led by oil sands workers to retrain workers to transition into renewable energy development. This project started as a documentary film. Since then, 600 workers have signed up. These oil sands workers are grateful for the opportunities oil sands have offered but see renewable energy development as the next step to ensuring a sustainable future – it’s also where great opportunities await.
Iron and Earth is in its infancy right now, but the concept is solid and it is quickly building momentum. It has created 4 pillars for success: collaboration, research, training and advocacy. Training is scheduled to start next summer.
The federal government is holding town hall meetings asking public for climate change strategy as a result of the Paris agreement. Saskatoon West is the only constituency in Saskatchewan that has held one, but members can request their MP hold a meeting or they can give feedback directly to the government.
Iron and Earth has a solar skills campaign coming out soon. This is an initiative where the goal is to have 1000 electricians implement 100 solar projects (such as solar panels on high schools that they are partnering with or EV charging stations) by offering some training for transference of skills and hands on work to build ability to transition into renewable. They will also provide curriculum materials to the high schools in order to get future workers interested in the renewable trade.
Iron and Earth has created a workers climate plan found at www.workersclimateplan.ca. This includes a survey consultation, video testimonials, worker interviews, ability to participate in town halls, digital town halls, or the ability to submit directly to the government at www.letstalkclimate.ca. So far, solar and wind technology is leading the growth in renewable energy. $32.9 billion has been invested globally since 2004 into renewable energy. It is estimated that $7.4 trillion will be invested globally by 2040 in renewable energy. Electricians can transition their skills into solar jobs, geothermal jobs can be done by boilermakers.
They still need funding for this project and have recently applied to the Alberta government. They are also looking for sponsors. Companies like Enbridge and Suncor are investing in renewable energies. There is expected funding this fall in the AB government fall budget and with the targets agreed to by the federal government, hopefully federal funding will become available to projects like this as well.
Saskatchewan and Alberta are the hot spots for solar energy, yet other provinces seem to be leading the way. Other provinces are generating more renewable energy and investing more into renewable energy research – we must take part in the transition to renewable energies.
To get further involved, you can text WCP to 1-778-771-0852 and check out their website www.ironandearth.org. They also have an AGM on October 29 in Edmonton.
Members of the Political Action and Awareness Committee (PAAC) attended a Saskatoon Climate Change Town Hall on May 24th, 2016. The Federal Government has encouraged its MPs to attend their local Town Halls in order to listen to the public concerns and ideas around Canada’s plan to address climate change. It was a hugely successful event in Saskatoon; people were spilling into the hallways in order to have their say! The people of Saskatchewan recognize the need for climate action, and SEIU-West was proud to help sponsor the event.
The four topics of discussion included:
Mitigation – How and where to reduce emissions
Carbon Pricing – What is the best way to put a price on carbon emissions?
Adaptation and Resilience – Preparing for the impacts of climate change
Clean Technology, Innovation and Jobs – Ideas for new technology and job creation
In celebration of Environment Week, SEIU-West is proud to share the reports from members of the PAAC – we also invite you to attend an Iron and Earth Presentation in Saskatoon shortly after Environment Week so you can learn more about green jobs!
It was exciting to see so many people taking time out of their day to come and exchange ideas about climate change. Approximately 170 packed into the Town Hall to discuss climate change in round table groups. In Canada, Saskatchewan is the worst province for emissions per capita followed closely by Alberta. This is not something we can be proud of.
One message came out loud and clear: when it comes to climate change, people are starting to get their heads out of the sand. Except those hardheads who will never get their heads out of the sand.
We discussed four themes at our round tables. Here are some of the ideas that came from our group:
- Continue discussions around climate change (more town hall meetings like this)
- Look to Indigenous communities for guidance and strong leadership
- Bring in youth involvement
- Use multi-level plans for action change
- Look to other countries who have taken large renewable steps as models
Reducing Emissions –
- Transition to renewables
- Use green roof technology
- Improve alternative and public transportation
- Improve city planning to increase energy efficiency
- Improve building codes and waste reduction
- Invest in rail
Carbon Pricing –
- Put the burden on the biggest fossil fuel producers
- Say no to more pipelines
- Use carbon taxes to fund a just transition to renewables
- Stop further oil and gas exploration
- Phase out fossil fuel subsidies,
Jobs and the Economy –
- The environment is not separate from the economy – shifting to renewables creates long-term jobs
- Create local power solutions
- Create more jobs in renewables than in the carbon industry
- Make sure new power sources are publicly owned with good unionized jobs
- Have incentives for community-owned solar and wind solutions
- Ensure a just transition for affected workers: retraining, relocation and a strong social safety net
I heard two very important themes being repeated during each round table report. The first was that codes for homes and buildings need to be improved and enforced. The second theme was Education, Education, Education! It was stated many times how important it is to educate the public. This would be the key to making any inroad on climate change.
On May 25, people in Saskatoon gathered to talk about climate change. Similar meetings were held across the country to come up with ideas to present to our government about how we can enact real change to save our planet. The focus was on reducing emissions, carbon prices, jobs and growth, and adaptation to climate change.
Mark Bigland-Prichard spoke about the impact as temperatures go up, such as droughts, death of coral reefs, forest fires, and heat waves. We are already 2.5 degrees higher than the pre-industrial average. The target from Paris Summit was 2 degree commitment with an ambition at 1.5 degrees.
The question is how do we stay under 1.5 or 2 degrees? What is our carbon budget? The best estimate gives us a 2/3 chance of staying under 2 degrees, which is 880 tons of carbon emission. The claim on reserves is 3000 tons. We can afford less than 0.3 million barrels of oil a day but currently, we use 2.4.
Cat Gendron spoke about how we must confront the false idea that we have to choose between jobs and the environment. We need to shift the conversation from “but we need those jobs” to “we need to transition to green jobs”. In fact, pipeline jobs are more likely to be temporary and there are more jobs created with green energy. We have seen over 50,000 layoffs in Alberta and roughly 7000 in Saskatchewan – this boom and bust effect on workers is not good for anyone. Why not ensure affected workers attain work within the renewable sector? Their existing skills are often applicable.
Coleen from Fond-du-Lac spoke of her people on the reserve and the effects uranium had. The tailing ponds go to Lake Athabasca and straight to her community. Government puts communities in a vulnerable state by offering short term money and long term problems.
We broke out into groups that then reported back, and we will then take these reports to Ottawa. Attending was NDP MP Sheri Benson who heard loud and clear from approximately 170 people that we need legislative change to save our planet.
In the first hour of the Town Hall Meeting, attendees were invited to a primer where small groups were asked to discuss the 4 key issues. Within an hour, there were tons of people coming in and by 7:30pm, it was standing room only.
The event started with a welcome from the organizers, followed by an Indigenous prayer. Sheri Benson, MP for Saskatoon West, thanked everyone for coming and was glad to be there to listen. Colleen from Fond-du-Lac was next to speak, and she discussed the impact of Uranium City affecting her community. She also stated that Indigenous people must be included, moving forward because they bring knowledge to the table.
The next presentation was about Tackling Climate Change where we discussed how Canada was one of 195 signatories at the COP 21 Paris Summit where we agreed to limit the average temperature rise to less than 2.0 degrees Celsius and strive to keep the increase below 1.5 degrees Celsius. It is important to reach this goal as many people are already experiencing the effects of climate change such us : more extreme weather events, longer, hotter heat waves, thawing permafrost and loss of Arctic ice, and threats to local food sources for Indigenous people in the north.
Other facts presented was Saskatchewan’s provincial emissions per capita: between 2009-2013, Saskatchewan was the highest emitter, followed by Alberta. The areas in which climate change is especially impacted are through oil and gas, which leads at 26%, followed by transportation at 23%.
During the next hour, the objective of the meeting was to have our say and to share ideas on how to address climate change. We were divided into groups to talk about the 4 key issues and come up with ideas about how we can address them. Most of the groups had similar ideas, here are some examples:
On reducing emissions – build infrastructure with climate change in mind; have better public transportation and city planning; create partnerships with municipalities; improve composting/recycling programs; and increase renewable energy.
On carbon pricing – ensure a carbon tax is federally mandated; create rebates on income tax; ensure the effectiveness (i.e. no loopholes) in carbon pricing.
On jobs and growth – educate people in order to confront inaccuracies within green energy; invest in a just transition; ensure affected workers have retraining and relocation; fund a strong social safety net.
On adaptation and resilience – build solidarity; choose to do what is right (climate justice); consult with Indigenous people; include municipalities in global planning.
Every group had a note taker and presenter -it was such a large crowd there was not enough time to really expand the ideas. However, organizers are collecting all the information and sending out our group ideas to the federal government.
It was a good meeting with great turnout, and SEIU West made a presence with its big purple banner on the wall!
Update: New Deadline! Send us your survey by August 21, 2016 to be entered into the draw for a $250 Visa gift card!
In advance of our next rounds of SAHO and Extendicare bargaining, we would like to invite SEIU-West members who are covered under the SAHO or Extendicare collective bargaining agreements to take the time (15 to 20 minutes) to provide us with your thoughts on how to improve your collective agreement.
You can use your computer, laptop, table or your mobile phone to fill out your bargaining questionnaire.
All SAHO/Extendicare SEIU-West members who complete the survey online will be entered into a draw for one of three fabulous prizes (first prize is a $250 Visa gift card)! Be sure to provide your name and valid personal email address or mobile number so we can contact you if you win!
The results of this questionnaire (except for identification) will be shared with SEIU-West delegates at our October 2016 SAHO/Extendicare bargaining conference to assist us in developing our 2017 proposal packages. Your input is important to your bargaining team.
As always, if you have any questions please contact us or call the Member Resource Centre (MRC) at 1-888-999 SEIU (7348).
Don’t forget to check the SAHO and Extendicare bargaining pages in order to keep up to date on the latest bargaining news and events.
UPDATE: You can now complete a paper copy of the survey!
By Barb Cape, President – SEIU-West
Hello and Happy Nursing Week!
We are well into our celebrations within SEIU-West…whether there has been a cake in your facility, or you’ve participated in our Nursing Week contest or you are simply enjoying a collaborative nursing team…all of these things matter.
Earlier this week, I talked about the role of the LPN in continuing education and the skills brought to their work as part of the nursing team. Today I want to talk about the role of our CCAs.
The Continuing Care Assistants bring experience, knowledge and training to their daily work. With a certificate program that covers different aspects and environments of care, there is a focus on the technical aspects of the work. But the people who work within this classification also bring a considerable amount of compassion to the care they provide.
I have always said that it’s a special person who works in health care or related fields, regardless of classification. But for the CCA, they are with people during the most vulnerable point in their lives, whether it’s at the end of life, or daily care, or during truly difficult medical situations – they provide the hands-on role of care provider that we seldom see elsewhere.
RNs bring a level of knowledge and skill specific to more involved health care needs; LPNs provide a practical and immediate knowledge for assessment and care plans; and CCAs are the eyes and ears of the team; providing invaluable observations and contributing to the overall ability of the health care team to use their respective level of knowledge and skill in the field via hands-on care.
I believe that there is a need for a reboot of how we look at nursing teams. There is an opportunity for a greater degree of collaboration in the team itself; a recognition of the knowledge and skill that each member brings to the overall provision of nursing care.
We all have a role in this system; we do not operate in silos. Each person who works in health care is a front-line expert and we should acknowledge and respect both their unique role and their responsibility.
For today during Nursing Week, join me in celebrating the Continuing Care Assistants who provide dignity, comfort and care to those they serve.
To enter the Nursing Week Contest, click here.
To download a PDF of the Nursing Week Poster, click here.
"We are lucky to have health care that does not discriminate on income - public health care matters" - Leona, Phlebotomist at Canadian Blood Services.
"I try to give the best care that I can for the residents - and I love to make them laugh!" - Maria.
By Barb Cape, President – SEIU-West
Happy National Nursing Week!! SEIU-West is so proud of its members who work in nursing teams – this week serves as an opportunity to show our gratitude, and to also share important information around the vital work they do. To start the week, I want to begin by highlighting Licensed Practical Nurses (stay tuned for Continuing Care Assistants’ Day, later this week!)
Recently, I had a very interesting conversation with a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) who is a member of SEIU-West in Saskatoon. She was upset about the ongoing struggle between the Registered Nurses and members of SUN, and their regulatory body, the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association (SRNA). She said, “Today is a sad day for regulation in Saskatchewan”. And while we in health care pay attention to these issues, what is this really about?
Recently, the Ministry of Health approved the new set of bylaws that govern the Licensed Practical Nurse scope of practice under which LPNs can safely work. The bylaws were intended to provide role clarity as they describe quite specifically the work that is done by LPNs daily based on their competencies. As well, the LPN education program created and delivered by SASK Polytech has expanded to encompass some additional duties and practices. The new bylaws reflect these added education pieces. This process is no different from that of every other regulated profession, as they seek to remain up-to-date. For example, LPNs, Doctors, RNs, technologists, and pharmacists are all required to take continuing education credits to ensure that they remain current in their profession. It’s a great idea and even though I’m not in a regulated profession, I think lifelong learning and staying up to speed on my profession (Chef) is a brilliant idea.
But that’s part of the problem: SRNA and others are arguing that these skills are not a part of a LPNs ‘foundational’ education (aka their original course). But that’s a red herring because regulated professions add to their body of knowledge via their educational program. Additional courses and skill upgrades are regularly offered to all professions – regardless of who they are in health care. Lawyers do it. Accountants do it. And RNs do it…so why not LPNs? These courses or programs might be offered on-line, or via an employer, or through Sask Polytech… but they all must be a recognized and vetted course in order for it to count towards improving one’s skills.
There is a claim that LPNs are working outside of their scope and putting patients at risk. I have said this before and will say this again: PROVE IT! And if you know of someone working outside of their scope, contact SALPN immediately! It’s not ok once or twice; it’s not ok if no one is looking – it is not OK! But that being said, I have yet to find any evidence of LPNs putting their patients at risk by working outside of the LPN scope of practice. If the true issue is a lack of acceptance of the expanded education, skill and competencies of LPNs – that’s just goofy. There is a role for every health care profession in advancing the model of care Saskatchewan residents deserve. There is no role for professional jealousies.
As our LPN member who works in an Operating Room, she said: “…I love my job. I love going to work every day and I feel honored to help people during one of the scariest times in their lives. I took the same peri-op program as my RN counterparts and was partnered for group assignments with a RN. I was the sole LPN in a group with five RNs… we wrote the same exams, assignments and research papers. I feel strongly that my education prepared me to serve in my role. I feel strongly that the public should be able to have confidence in me when I come to walk them into the operating room. I am good at what I do.”
The public needs to know that the work of EVERYONE on the health care team is valued. From maintenance, to administration, to front-line nursing, to support services, and everything in between. There are some jobs that I can’t and shouldn’t do, because I am a cook; just as there are some duties that a LPN can’t and shouldn’t do because it’s outside of the scope of practice for a LPN. There really is a role for all members of the nursing team including the RN, the LPN and the CCA.
As we celebrate Nursing week, I ask you to remember this: everyone has skills to bring to our health care system. We cannot operate in silos; we cannot eliminate any one player on our health care team and we all know how to improve our health care system… let’s remember that this week. Let’s work together to build strong nursing teams – to do this we must stop the ongoing attacks against all members of our nursing teams, recognize and value the professional skills offered by each and create pride and respect for our diverse roles.
To enter the Nursing Week Contest, click here.
NOTE: This course has been moved to the Heritage Inn in Moose Jaw, It begins at 10:30 am on the 21st and it is a 2 day session. Successful applicants will be notified in early June.
The Aboriginal Committee together with the Education department are pleased to be offering a new course for SEIU-West Members.
We will be accepting 30 participants to attend this two day training opportunity.