Date: October 24, 2019
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Your SEIU-West bargaining committee met with SAHO and the Employer, along with conciliator Dan Ish in our continued engagement in voluntary conciliation. Despite the parties efforts there was no progress made, so both SAHO and ourselves have agreed to ‘pause’ the conciliation process with the option to resume if we receive any information that indicates there are more resources available at our bargaining table to conclude an agreement.
SAHO and the Employer was given a clear message that they needed to come to the session on the 23rd at 9:30 am – with their proposals to share with us. They did not. The conciliator described an ‘elephant in the room’, which is the potential impact of other public sector agreements. Specifically, the UNIFOR/Crowns tentative agreements where UNIFOR claims to have ‘broken the mandate’. There was reluctance to move forward without knowing the details of that deal and without any assurance additional monies would be made available to SEIU-West health care providers as a result. SAHO has indicated that their government partners have not disclosed the specifics of the UNIFOR settlements regarding the mandate.
Both parties identified disappointment in that more ‘creative’ options to achieve an agreement were not generated. The difference between the message received from our members that money was the outstanding issue and the message SAHO received from their principles (aka the government of Saskatchewan) that they refuse to consider advancing any ‘new money’ curtailed any opportunity for a fair deal.
SAHO indicated that our members shouldn’t expect to see other settlements for other groups of members and believe that it would be applied to them. We indicated our members see additional resources provided to other bargaining tables and significant new money provided for SHA projects, out-of-scope staff and MLAs, and believe added resources need to be committed to their Collective Agreement.
Our bargaining committee has been patiently waiting for SAHO and the Employer to respond to our proposals. Our patience has not been rewarded. So, we have determined (and communicated this with SAHO, Employer and the conciliator) that we will be going to the membership to ask for a mandate for job action.
Your SEIU-West bargaining committee will be setting up virtual townhall meetings and a roadshow to come out to meet with our membership in order to seek a mandate for job action.
While your committee is on the membership roadshow we committed to continuing discussions should there be any movement, progress or information about improvements to the public sector mandate. Please keep an eye on the SEIU-West website, Facebook page, and your union bulletin board for information updates; venues, dates and times for meetings and voting.
And please remember to show your support for our bargaining efforts. 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.
If you have not already done so, you can also add your name to the www.endunderstaffing.ca campaign that has been 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 bargaining committee appreciates your support and engagement.
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