Q&A No. 2: SAHO Tentative Agreement Information Sessions

This post is a continuation of questions regarding the tentative agreement asked as of December 14, 2020.

26. Will the ER still maintain status of positions?

a. The status of positions (full-time/part-time/casual) will not be affected by any change to a seniority date. No one currently in a position will lose their position as a result of changing the way in which seniority is expressed from hours based to seniority date.

27. If my position is red circled (by ER) am I still entitled to the wage increases?

a. Yes you are. Our current collective agreement sets out a process called ‘green circled’ which means that red circled positions receive all negotiated general wage increases.

28. Is the $200 tax free?

a. The $200 is considered income, but not wages. The sum is subject to income tax and Canada Pension Plan contributions, but not payroll taxes such as employment insurance deductions.

29. With the rollbacks that the JJE imposed on MRI technologists and Ultra sound techs, was this discussed at the bargaining table and were the rollbacks taken off the table?

a. While we were bargaining, the parties were made aware of the changes to a whole range of educational programs offered by Polytechnique (formerly SIAST). The changes to the educational program meant that the joint job evaluation plan factor ratings for education would be reduced. The issue is not addressed at the collective agreement bargaining table as the parties agreed that the parties to JJE needed to meet to negotiate mutually acceptable conclusions to outstanding current issues regarding JJE.

b. The parties agreed to a process that would not allow an artificial change of the educational factor to affect classifications in which the core components of the classification and qualifications were not changed. As a result, the rollbacks were not imposed. The parties codified the oversight process in a Letter of Understanding outside of collective bargaining.

30. With this new calculation of seniority how does that affect our sick time calculation?

a. The change to seniority date will not affect our sick time calculation. Sick time for full-time staff is 15 days/year. For other than full time staff, sick time is earned based on a formula for all paid hours (except OT).

31. The Tentative agreement talks about meals - could you explain that part more? Also with date of hire will it affect our pension?

a. There have been ongoing challenges for people to get adequate breaks when working OT so that the total of your regular and overtime hours of work go beyond 10 hours – this has now been addressed. Also, the labour standard provisions outlined in The Saskatchewan Employment Act (SEA) were updated, so we changed our collective agreement to reflect that change.
b. The change to seniority date will not affect your pension. Your pension is based on your actual date of hire which reflect years of service. Changing how seniority is expressed does not affect your pension or any other benefit which is calculated based on your years of service.

31. In the event we merge seniority lists with the other unions in the province and the others are based on hire date and may have only worked Part time for those years, what would that look like for the purposes of layoffs?

a. This seniority change is only applicable to SEIU-West seniority of SEIU-West members.
b. There has never been any discussion about merging seniority lists with other unions. The Transition Letter of Understanding that the parties have negotiated provides a forum to discuss how we all transition from the 12 former health regions to one employer (SHA). This is a forum where we will determine how our members get to move with their seniority and benefits from one union jurisdiction to another if they bid on a position.

32. For the people who retired and then were rehired within 120 calendar days they brought back their hours but had a new hire date. How will this effect their seniority in the new calculation?

a. The change from seniority hours to seniority date will not affect a members actual date of hire. The actual date of hire will not be the same as a seniority date. The actual date of hire is determined by the date on which you were hired. The seniority date is determined by the amount of hours of seniority you have, including seniority that you were able to retain because of being rehired within 120 calendar days; all of that is translated into a calendar date.

33. I kind of missed it but how many of the years we went without a contract are we getting back pay for?

a. Assuming the tentative agreement is ratified, we would be getting retro pay for 2019 -1%, and 2020 – 2%. We are also getting a lump sum payment of $200.

34. Is the license fee paid retroactively from 2017?

a. We are encouraging all of our members who were required to pay licensing fees to apply to have that amount topped up by their employer for each year they paid licensing fees since 2017.

35. If we accept this offer will the back pay be on a regular pay cheque or a separate cheque?

a. In the terms of the tentative agreement, we have asked for the retro pay to be on a separate cheque.

36. I’ve worked in the Saskatoon Health Region as a member of SEIU West for 20 years. The last 3 years as an LPN. Will I keep seniority from hire date in health region when I was a CCA (February 16 2020) or from when I became an LPN ( May 30 2017)?

a. Your seniority hours, currently, include all your time worked as a SHA employee. The seniority date conversion will include all of your hours of seniority translated to a seniority date.

37. What about professions that are newly licensed? 2018 is when pharmacy technicians became mandatory to become licensed so will we not get our license paid for? (minus the $200).

a. It is the licensing fee that was established effective 2017. This date was established during the common table provider union collective bargaining sessions and was accepted by the other provider unions’ members. We are working to determine how this article is applied within the other provider unions collective agreement.

38. Anything for retirees? And if not, so unfair as we worked for do many years with no gratification!

a. Retro pay applies to all retirees from the effective date of the general wage increase(s) to the date of retirement. The $200 lump sum payment in full applies to all retirees as well.

39. Is our seniority exercised when applying for positions in a different former health region and how might this change with the seniority list being adjusted to date of hire?

a. The language of the collective agreement sets out that if you bid on a position in another SEIU-West health region, there is a process whereby you can bring your seniority and accrued benefits with you once you are confirmed in that position. That hasn’t changed.
b. However, if you are referring to moving between different union jurisdictions/health authorities, that has not been dealt with. That is to be discussed under the letter of understanding on transition issues.

40. If we change to hire date; will this allow us to transfer to CUPE with corrected hire date or bring hire date from CUPE to SEIU? If we agree to seniority conversion to date of hire will this facilitate transfer to or from CUPE?

a. This seniority date change is ONLY for SEIU-West members. This doesn’t address any issues with moving between other unions. Those issues are to be discussed under the letter of understanding on transition issues.

41. The minimum three hour call in is that affecting only home care of all departments. Currently as a LPN I have a minimum 4 hours called in.

a. The changes to the collective agreement confirm that, for those employees covered under the standard application of hours of work, no employee shall be called in our schedule for work less than four hours in duration. The exceptions have been removed.
b. For those employees covered under the hours of work applicable to homecare (only), on each occasion a home care employee reports for work he/she shall receive a minimum of three hours at their regular rate of pay, up from two hours.

42. Regards to the 1948.8 for maximum seniority per year. Back when I started in 1981, we didn't have the Friday off & we worked 8.5 hour shifts. Will these numbers account for more seniority earlier? Where will we check for these lists for our seniority date?

a. All of the hours of seniority that you have accumulated to date, which already includes hours earned when the full-time hours of work were greater in 1948.8 hours per year, will be used to establish the converted seniority date. The total hours of seniority you have, as reflected on the current SAHO seniority list plus whatever you will earn up until the cut off date, will be used in the conversion from seniority hours to seniority date.
b. The seniority lists that are generated through the process of converting seniority hours to seniority date should be posted in your workplace or area just the same as the quarterly SAHO seniority list are posted currently. There will be more specific information provided to all members as we move through the process.

43. As a PT employee I have to work 8 hours more than a FT person to put myself to OT - is there any changes to that rule.

a. There has been no change to the Overtime language.
b. Overtime is defined as all hours in excess of 112 hours/3 week period or 8 hours/day –you can contact the Member Resource Center at 1-888-999-7348 ext 2298 to get direction on this.

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