Date: October 10, 2019
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Your SEIU-West bargaining committee was scheduled to meet in Moose Jaw on October 7-10 with SAHO and the Employer, for voluntary conciliation. The parties had agreed to use Dan Ish as conciliator in order to see if we could find common ground to reach a tentative agreement. Unfortunately, the parties did not make any measureable success that we can report.
During the brief time we spent face-to-face with SAHO, we talked about the issues, concerns and challenges in the bargaining process over the last two and one-half years. We reiterated the statement we heard loud and clear, over and over again on the roadshow, “There is not enough in this offer to make me vote Yes”. Your bargaining committee was prepared to be creative in our proposals if we had the ability to do so.
The conciliator met separately with the parties many times to shuttle ideas and concerns between SAHO/Employer and SEIU-West committees. Ultimately, the conciliation session ended when it became apparent that there was not going to be enough creativity at this session to find new proposals that will help us reach a tentative agreement.
SAHO and the Employer are to meet with us and the conciliator on October 23. The committees have to engage in building proposals that deal with this round of bargaining and this Collective Agreement. The committees need to come prepared to be flexible; they need to present realistic and acceptable ideas; and they need to have the authority to make decisions, or to have a decision maker readily available if we are to conclude bargaining this collective agreement.
Our bargaining committee (and our members’) patience is at a premium. We have spent a lot of time fighting for a fair collective agreement. We have talked to politicians, signed postcards, written letters, joined rallies, and shared our experiences working on the frontlines in health care. We are done waiting...
Thank you for your ongoing support and engagement. And please remember that together we need to let SAHO know it’s not acceptable to present the same mandate that our members have rejected. We need you to provide clarity to those who control the purse strings. You can contact the Minister of Finance, Donna Harpauer (306) 787-6060 OR firstname.lastname@example.org; the Minister of Health, Jim Reiter (306) 787-7345 OR email@example.com; the new Minister of Rural and Remote Health, Warren Kaeding (306) 798-9014 OR firstname.lastname@example.org; or your very own MLA (http://www.legassembly.sk.ca/mlas/).Explain to them the need for a fair offer; and how an adequate monetary package is necessary to recruit and retain quality staff. 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 Contract Bargaining and Enforcement); Russell Doell (Deputy Dir. of Contract Bargaining and Enforcement); Cam McConnell (Negotiations Officer) • President: Barbara Cape