Date: September 16, 2019
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Your SEIU-West bargaining committee met with SAHO and the Saskatchewan Health Authority representatives in Saskatoon on September 11, 12, and 13.
The first two days were spent waiting for the Employer to provide us with a reply to our last proposal.
The Employer proposed that the bargaining committee focus their time on developing collective agreement language proposals to address an arbitration award on fragmenting shifts.
Your bargaining committee believes the parties need to buckle down to resolving the current bargaining issues before we add additional issues.
We believe the arbitration award can be addressed outside of bargaining, as has been our past practice.
Otherwise, after we presented our bargaining proposal package to the Employer on the September 13, we believe there is very little left in dispute, other than the monetary settlement.
We have been told by SAHO that because SEIU-West members did not accept the tentative agreement – which contained a LOU regarding how the collective agreements are to be applied in the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) – SAHO would not negotiate with us and our Provider Union Association partners CUPE and SGEU in one meeting.
SAHO wishes to exclude SEIU-West members from multi party discussions regarding portability of seniority, eligibility for job postings, transfer of benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment among the three provider unions.
However, the coalition of CUPE, SGEU, and SEIU-West maintains that these are issues that affect all of our members, and that all provider unions should be present to participate.
To reinforce this point, we have proposed that the letter of understanding in contention be pulled from our bargaining proposal package and signed between SAHO and SEIU-West, so we can get to work on the important issues at hand.
In order to facilitate the abilities of the parties to reach a fair and reasonable deal, SEIU-West proposed the parties agree to voluntary conciliation in order to get to a tentative agreement.
Your bargaining committee feels that this is a logical next step in order to achieve a fair and equitable collective agreement.
Leadership at the bargaining table matters.
We call on SAHO, the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Minister of Health to exhibit that leadership and put their best effort forward to reach a tentative agreement.
Our next dates to meet are September 24, 25, and 26, 2019.
We appreciate your support and interest; like you, we believe that you deserve a fair and equitable collective agreement that treats you with respect and pays you what you’re worth.
SAHO has continued to hold to the same mandate that our members have rejected. We need you to provide clarity to them. You can contact the Minister of Finance, Donna Harpauer (306) 787-6060 OR [email protected]; the Minister of Health, Jim Reiter (306) 787-7345 OR [email protected]; the new Minister of Rural and Remote Health, Warren Kaeding (306) 798-9014 OR [email protected]; or your very own MLA (http://www.legassembly.sk.ca/mlas/).
Explain to them the concept of fairness; how a fair monetary package can be used to recruit and retain quality staff. And don’t let them dazzle you with their ‘new’ math comparing their base wage of over $98,000 to our wages (www.seiuwest.ca/respondtomofputcarefirst); don’t forget that they get allowances, benefits and premiums for additional responsibilities. If you would like some assistance, call the MRC at 1-888-999-7348 extension 1 and an officer will put you in contact with someone who will help you.
You can also add your name to the www.endunderstaffing.ca campaign that we’ve launched to address recruitment and retention in our health care system. Wages are a critical component to ensure that we have appropriate staffing levels.
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