Date: December 21, 2021
Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
The Union and the Employer commenced bargaining on June 24, 2020. The continuing waves of theCOVID-19 pandemic has meant that our meetings are all done on-line through virtual meeting rooms. It’s not ideal, as it adds a lot of time to the bargaining process, but it is the only way in which the parties can meet.
We tabled our initial proposal package on June 24, 2020. We utilized the Westpark Crossing Agreement that we bargained with this same Employer. Our thinking was the two facilities, Riverbend Crossing and Westpark Crossing, are very similar in structure, the type of work performed and the job classifications utilized at both sites. However, the employer pushed back on a lot of the contract language they had already agreed to in the West Park Crossing Agreement.
Bargaining was delayed further by COVID-19 outbreaks in several of the Employer’s Extendicare facilities as their Lead Negotiator for Riverbend Crossing was directed to assist with the outbreak protocols and led to the cancellation of our December 2020 bargaining dates.
The parties met virtually on February 11 and 12, 2021. Bargaining was then put on hold when our chief negotiator Bob Desjarlais got sick and then ultimately passed away. We resumed bargaining on May 6 and then again on June 9 and 10; June 16 and 17. The bargaining committee held a virtual membership meeting on June 14 to provide information on bargaining and answer questions.
The parties then met on September 7th, 9th and 16th; November 3rd, 4th and 5th; and December 17th. Through lots of discussions and much perseverance, we reached agreement in principle on a significant number of non-monetary proposals. Issues like seniority, hours of work for full time, part-time and casual employees work in classifications with a different definition of “full-time”, a grievance/arbitration process to deal with disputes, and how our members are awarded jobs through the job posting procedure have been addressed. The parties has reached a tentative agreement on most of the outstanding nonmonetary issues.
Monetary proposals remain outstanding. On December 17, 2021, a comprehensive package to conclude bargaining was tabled with the employer, which contained improvements to wages and benefits, paid leaves (e.g. sick leave) and a wage schedule with three steps for each job classification. We indicated to the employer that if we are unable to reach an agreement, our next practical course was to apply to the Saskatchewan Labor Relations Board for first collective agreement bargaining assistance. The Employer is to respond
Due to full schedules and the ongoing COVID-19 responsibilities of the Employer, the next dates scheduled for bargaining are February 9 and 10, 2022; and March 10 and 11, 2022. Your bargaining committee believes that the parties will able to reach a tentative agreement that we can bring out to you all with a positive recommendation. If not, we will be scheduling meetings to explain our next steps at the labour board.
Your bargaining committee thanks you for the support you all have shown us. As members of SEIU-West, it is your right to get the best deal possible. Your committee demands a fair and reasonable agreement for front line personal care workers – you deserve it. Your support for us gives us the power to demand the Employer do better.
Please continue to check out your Union Bulletin Board, or seiuwest.ca for further updates. If you have any questions about your workplace, please contact the Member Resource Centre (MRC) at 1-888-999-7348 ex. 2298, or by email at [email protected]. The MRC Officers will be able to assist you or will refer your question if necessary.
Your participation in your Union makes your Union strong!
Your SEIU-West River Bend Crossing Bargaining Committee
Shailini Pascua (Unit Chair) • Staff: Katelyn Almen (Union Representative) • Bob Laurie (Director of Contract Bargaining and Enforcement).