Your SEIU-West Bargaining Committee met July 30th, 31st and August 1st with SAHO and the employer representatives in Saskatoon to recommence bargaining.
We presented a package to them that took steps to address the issues identified by our members in meetings, emails and virtual town hall meetings held prior to rejecting the tentative agreement this past April. Among the items are:
- A fair and reasonable general wage increase;
- Addressing the changes to federal parental leave provisions;
- Ensuring that our collective agreement reflects the provincial changes to Interpersonal Violence Leave; and
- Addressing potentially discriminatory language with respect to our disability income plan.
The parties agreed that our respective proposal packages would not re-start the process of bargaining from scratch, but will build on the previously agreed to items.
Since the tentative agreement was rejected, we have talked with our coalition partners, CUPE and SGEU; we’ve discussed the overall environment of bargaining in both health care and the public sector with the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour and other public sector unions; we have talked with the Minister of Labour about why it was rejected; and had very frank conversations with SAHO about our members’ comments and specific concerns about the tentative agreement that was rejected. We will continue to raise your voices and concerns at the bargaining table.
We have set a calendar of meeting dates with SAHO and the employer that carries us through to the end of October. Our next set of meeting dates are August 19, 20, 21 in Saskatoon.
Over the course of this summer, the SEIU-West Provincial Contract Action Team (ProCATS) have been travelling all over the province to talk about bargaining and our related campaign to end understaffing. It’s important to add your voice to that campaign to identify that staffing has been at a crisis level within the health care sector for too long. You can go to EndUnderstaffing.ca to sign the petition to the Minister of Health and others.
As always, we welcome our members’ questions and comments. We encourage you to contact the MRC at 1-888-999-7348 ext. 2298 to ask any further questions. Please watch for updates on SEIUWEST.ca. You can also follow our Facebook and Twitter feeds.
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