Date: May 22, 2020
Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
Your SEIU-West bargaining committee was able to secure dates to meet with SAHO to resume bargaining on May 21 & 22 and 28 & 29. We agreed to meet via video conference on WebEx.
The SEIU-West bargaining committee has been focused on getting our members a collective agreement that was fair and reasonable, and that our members would accept. Our members have been very clear that the issue of acceptable monetary compensation has been an over-riding concern among SEIU-West members.
We presented a package on May 21, 2020 that we believed would help us resolve bargaining and reach a tentative agreement. It included such things as a plan to create a health & lifestyle spending account (HLSA); the creation of an education fund that would assist our members in advancing their education and career goals; increasing emergency changed shifts to double time (2x) from four (4) to five (5) days; employers paying for medical notes verifying illness when they are requested by the Employer. Our proposals are based on equity with the settlements that have been reached in other provincial public sectors, like the Crowns and provincial government. We understand that the general wage increase is static at 0%; 0%; 1%; 2%; 2% over five (5) years. We proposed a heroic care recognition lump sum payment of $400 for all employees. We recognize this proposal package may not meet the expectations from all members; our proposal does create additional benefits for our members.
SAHO did not accept our observation that the current process and proposals were not going to get an agreement the members would accept. They were unhappy with what we proposed. They broke off talks at 11:20 am on Friday, May 22. The Employer committee accused the Union of bad faith bargaining and said that we weren’t serious about getting an agreement. They indicated they expect SEIU-West to return with a proposal that would be a continuation of what we told them was unacceptable to our members. SAHO and the Employer representatives stated they would not engage in collective bargaining with SEIU-West until we do so.
After that disappointing session, where it appears SAHO is rejecting every single one of our proposals without discussion, SEIU-West will be consulting with our legal counsel on next steps in order to get a collective agreement acceptable to you.
We are currently working on the logistics for virtual telephone town halls to be held in the coming days.
Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the Member Resource Center by phone 1-888-999-7348 ext. 2298 or through our contact form on SEIUWEST.ca.
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; Carla Saworski; 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