Date: June 17, 2020
Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
The SEIU-West bargaining committee along with members of our Political Action and Awareness committee and Provincial Contract Action Team (ProCAT) took action by going to the Legislature on Tuesday June 16 to call out the Government of Saskatchewan to get back to the bargaining table with the ‘flexibility’ to reach a deal. This was especially timely in light of the provincial government’s budget announcement Monday that outlined increases to the health care budget, but nothing for front line health care providers.
We have already begun the process set out by the Saskatchewan Employment Act (SEA) by contacting the Saskatchewan Association of Healthcare Organizations (SAHO) – the Employer’s bargaining agent – about their refusal to bargain. We believe their actions are a deliberate attempt to provoke an impasse and are a violation of the SEA. SEIU-West will be notifying the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, the Honourable Don Morgan, about the Employer’s lack of willingness to bargain a Collective Agreement our members will find acceptable.
Because this legislation hasn’t been tested yet in the health care system, we want to ensure that we are fulfilling the legal requirements. We have consulted with our legal counsel regarding essential services and what is required in our notice about SAHO’s refusal to bargain to the Minister of Labour Relations.
We have shared the situation with our coalition partners, CUPE and SGEU, and have their support for the actions we are undertaking.
The next step we anticipate from our correspondence will be having mandatory mediation/conciliation with a mediator/board of conciliation assigned by the Minister of Labour Relations.
While we have talked about this process a number of times in bargaining updates and virtual town halls, and Facebook Live events, it’s important to remember that there are two tracks that need to be managed at the same time:
- mandatory mediation and bargaining impasse; and
- negotiating an essential services agreement.
The information we have gathered from our members over the course of the last year is our foundation for bargaining essential services. We are using this, and will be asking for more, as we negotiate the duties that will be deemed essential under the essential services portion of the SEA.
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