Date: September 27, 2023
Greetings Sisters, Brothers, and Colleagues,
The West Park Crossing bargaining committee met with the membership on June 20th at 6:30pm. The membership had been informed through posters that the topic of the meeting was to discuss the Employer’s latest proposal and to hold a vote for strike/job action, if required. This meeting was well-attended by our members.
The members were informed that we had reached an impasse with the Employer at our June 16th meeting. The primary issue was the Employer’s refusal to enhance their last monetary offer. The committee answered questions about the strike processes and steps that would be taken to ensure we were in compliance with The Saskatchewan Employment Act (SEA) and Legislation. The membership voted to reject the Employer’s offer and to take a strike vote.
Following the June 20th membership meeting, the results of the strike vote indicated the membership were willing to take job action, if necessary.
Subsequently, the West Park Bargaining Committee notified the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety that an impasse had been reached and requested mandatory conciliation assistance.
The Ministry assigned Kevin Eckert, a Senior Labour Relations Officer to assist in the dispute. The parties met virtually on August 29th and 30th. There were three issues in dispute:
- Long-term disability benefit premium payment
- Reorganization of work and “line picking”
- A wage schedule including the introduction of a wage grid (and term)
Resolutions to the first two issues were reached in principle. Outstanding were the wages and terms of agreement. A membership meeting was held on August 31st, where the membership provided their views to the bargaining committee.
The Employer asked for, and the union agreed to, another day of conciliation on September 19th to see if there is a way to resolve our impasse in an amicable fashion.
The parties ended the day on September 19th with an agreement in principle and signed a Memorandum of Settlement on September 20th. The tentative agreement was taken out to the membership for a ratification vote on September 25th, with the bargaining committee and SEIU-West Staff recommending acceptance of the 3 and a half year agreement (July 25, 2021 to January 24, 2025), which includes some substantive general wage increases, and several improvements to other benefits, including sick leave, weekend and night premiums.
An electronic platform called Simply Voting was used to conduct the ratification vote. On September 27th SEIU-West notified the employer that the membership has agreed to accept the Memorandum of Settlement.
The SEIU-West West Park Crossing Bargaining Committee
Selene Desjardins (Unit Chair) • Rubilyn Mercene • Staff: Lynette Pinfold (Union Representative) • Katelyn Thibeault (Union Representative) • Larry Buchinski (Southern Negotiations Officer) • Bob Laurie (Director, Contract Bargaining & Enforcement)