Date: June 18, 2021
Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
I know it’s hard to believe that we’re still providing bargaining updates, but there have been some matters that we wanted to communicate to our members.
We’ve reviewed and corrected some errors in the wage schedules; provided some edits and corrections to the new collective agreement language; and we are having some issues with last minute additions that SAHO put on the new letters of understanding (LOUs). Normally these are signed by SAHO and SEIU-West’s bargaining team, as the parties to the collective agreement; however, now the Saskatchewan Health Authority has been added as a third signatory.
So why does this matter? SAHO is legally the official and exclusive bargaining agent for the healthcare employers and affiliates listed in the Collective Agreement. What does it mean if one employer now is superior to all the other employers in the collective agreement and enjoys potentially the same bargaining position as SAHO, which is supposed to be the SHA’s bargaining agent? Does this mean that the SHA can now withdraw from the LOU that everyone signed? Does it mean that an LOU signed by more Employer entities than SAHO (a potential violation of the Saskatchewan Employment Act) may be deemed null and void, or does it mean that only the SHA’s participation would be voided? The union has asked SAHO for their opinion on these matters, and awaits their response.
Beyond that, bargaining and reaching a tentative agreement is predicated on the notion that all issues have been thoroughly canvassed by the parties and there would be no surprises in the final collective agreement document. There was no discussion between the parties at the bargaining table regarding adding a separate signature line for the SHA in our new LOUs, and in the renewal of one particular LOU which sets out the Employer funding formula for the extended health and enhanced dental benefits plan. The union wants to be absolutely sure that this last-minute SAHO amendment to the LOUs will have no effect on the legality of the LOUs or on the commitments made in those LOUs.
While we resolve this issue, the production of the collective agreement books is being delayed.
As an interim measure, please refer to the current collective agreement and read it in conjunction with the language of the tentative agreement. We provided those electronically, and will put a copy on our website. If you want an electronic copy, just use the ‘contact us’ link on the website and we’ll get one in the mail to you. If you wish to check your rate of pay, please call the MRC for assistance.
In solidarity and respect,
Your SEIU-West Bargaining Committee
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