This post is a continuation of questions regarding the tentative agreement asked as of December 15, 2020.
44. Can you please clarify on the LOU re OH&S concerns and the point at which those move forward to the provincial dept?
a. Where there is a workload issue in a facility and members report it to the OHS committee, the OHS committee is now empowered to investigate the issue, including the ability to look at staffing levels as part of that investigation, and make recommendations. The OHS committee, or subcommittee, shall report their recommendations to resolve the safety-related workplace concern within 30 days of receiving the concern. The employer must respond in 30 days on what they have done to remedy the issue. If the issue isn’t resolved, it can be referred to the OHS Branch of the Ministry of Labour.
45. Would my seniority date be effective in all of SHA?
a. No it wouldn’t. This change is specific to SEIU-West members who work in one of the four former health regions – SHR, HHR, 5HHR, CHR. Seniority is specific to each of the former health regions, not combined.
46. Wanted to ask if the new seniority date impacts retirement etc? Also doesn't the new way of calculating seniority give PT's a disadvantage when we merge with the other areas of the province who have always been hire date?
a. This will not impact retirement dates as that is based on years of service. The seniority date is just for seniority purposes.
b. This seniority change is for SEIU-West members only and will translate hours-based seniority to a seniority date. There is no contemplation at this time of an agreed to process for merging seniority lists with other areas/unions in the province. SEIU-West will not agree to a plan that disadvantages our members as a result of unfair seniority calculations.
47. With this change of seniority what happens with my holidays?
a. There will be no change to how holidays are accumulated. The seniority date is just for seniority purposes.
48. If I am off on an SGI claim does that effect my seniority calculation?
a. Currently, seniority accumulates while off work in receipt of benefits under the Automobile Accident Insurance Act (SGI benefits). Under a seniority date system of calculating seniority, members will continue to accrue seniority while off work for any approved reason. The language in Article 9 Seniority will be changed to reflect the seniority date system.
49. If the contract is successfully ratified what is the projected timeline to be implemented and to receive retro.
a. Once it is ratified, we will notify SAHO immediately so that the implementation of the new rates can be done. Based on previous retro processes, the issuing of retro can take 3-4 months.
50. I was hired in Watrous in 2017. Worked casual in Imperial which is CUPE. I couldn't bring my hours over because I was casual. I'm wondering if this contract speaks to getting those hours ported to Watrous?
a. This contract does not speak to bringing seniority earned with another union over to SEIU-West. The issue you identified may be addressed in transition discussions between the provider unions, and SAHO and the employer.
51. With the retro pay do you also get it applied to overtime hours? How does the date seniority work if two people with the same date apply on the same job?
a. Retro is applied to all paid hours – that would include overtime.
b. If two people with the same seniority date apply for the same job, there will be a ‘tie-breaker’ process. For example, we may agree to a process whereby the person with the earliest birthday (either day of birthday or month of birthday) would be selected first.
52. So in regards to the wage increase does this increase the maximum end of the pay band?
a. The general wage increase would be applied to all steps in the pay band – so yes, it would increase step three in the pay band.
53. Will we have union dues taken off the separate cheque of 200?
a. For the lump sum payment of $200 there will be no union dues taken off that amount. There will be union dues on the retro payment.
54. If I am receiving WCB will that effect my retro pay?
a. Retro pay is paid on all paid hours that are paid by the employer (SHA or affiliate). Pay that is received by third party, e.g. WCB, DIP is not considered for retroactivity. In general, when a member has applied for WCB, the employer will continue paying the employee’s regular net pay for a period of time not to exceed one year. So for that first year, retroactivity would apply. After the first year, the member would receive Worker’s Compensation payments only, which would not be eligible for retro pay.
55. I'm an LPN and they increased our license - will they be increasing the amount we get back?
a. Licensing fees have been increased to the rates established by the regulatory body as of April 2017. We are encouraging all staff to apply to have those amounts reimbursed retroactively.
56. If you retired and were rehired would this change of seniority affect me?
a. If you were rehired by the employer within the 120 days of the effective date of your retirement, you currently would have received all of your seniority that you had prior to the effective date of your retirement. If you were rehired after one hundred and 20 days of the effective date of your retirement, you would have been rehired as a new employee and your seniority would be what you have earned from your latest hire date with the employer to the date the updated seniority list is posted. This process is current language and set out in article 20. Whatever seniority hours you are credited with would be used for the calculation of a seniority date.
57. Because of the change of the seniority ...what if someone has more hours but the other was hired sooner, who would get the OT?
a. Both individual members, regardless of their date of hire, would have their hours based seniority translated into a seniority date. The person with the earlier seniority date (most seniority) would be offered the OT first. The seniority date is just for seniority purposes.
58. 'I'm coming up to year 15 and 1 extra week of holidays granted. My date of hire will change because I've worked part time. Will this affect me getting that extra week right on schedule?' 'Next bargaining go around...can you negotiate professional fees last? By the time we sign we're 3 years behind'
a. Your accrual of vacation time won’t be changed because of the seniority change. The seniority date is just for seniority purposes.
b. The issue of professional/licensing fees will always be a priority at the bargaining table. We hear you loud and clear about the 3 year lag time.
59. I am not hearing exactly how the seniority calculation proposal will work. Does it mean that EVERY MEMBER is credited with 1948.8 hours of seniority per year no matter how many hours they have worked in the year? Was there any discussion on weekend and shift premiums?' How will members who have retired get their retroactive pay? Will we have to apply or will it be automatically sent to us?
a. Every member’s actual hours of seniority will be divided by 1948.8 (full time hours/year) to come up with the years of service. The years of service number will be multiplied by 365 days/year to come up with the number of days of service. Finally, the date established for making the conversion (cut off date) minus the days of service will provide us with the seniority date. Every member will have the same formula used to change how their seniority is expressed, from hours to a calendar date.
b. Going forward, every member will be recognized as having a seniority date – regardless of part-time, full-time, or casual status.
c. There was discussion about the shift/weekend premiums, but we weren’t able to achieve any improvements.
d. Retired members will need to apply to their facility to receive their retro pay. As soon as that process is nailed down, the union will be providing information on our website and through other means to let retirees know how to apply.
60. Where can we access our correct hours of seniority? So we know it’s calculated properly.
a. The seniority list is posted in your facility or, for former SHR members, is available on Gateway online. If you are continuing to struggle to find information about your seniority, please phone the MRC.
61. When will we vote? How will we vote? Do we vote on memorandums separate or is it a package deal?'
a. This is one vote on one tentative agreement which includes both memorandum A and memorandum B.
b. We will be voting electronically via online or phone option (if you have limited internet access).
c. The voting period will be January 11 – 15, 2021. We will be posting this on our website and updating this with information about the voting process. We need members to make sure we have their name and email address so that we can provide members with a secure link to vote. Go to the SEIU-West website and click on the ‘contact us’ link to make sure we have your information.