Saskatoon, September 23, 2019
Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
Our last update indicated you had voted to reject the Employer’s last offer in July. We requested that the Employer return to the bargaining table to continue bargaining to reach a collective agreement. Just as a reminder, the Union’s last position had been a 1.5% wage increase effective July 1, 2018. The Employer last offer set out a 1.5% wage increase effective July 1, 2019 with no provision for retroactive pay.
The Employer responded to your committee on August 19, 2019. The response did not provide any more bargaining dates. It simply restated the previous offer and asked the Union take it out for another vote with a recommendation the members accept the offer. The Employer’s response warned that if the offer that was previously rejected was not ratified by the end of September, 2019, the Employer would no longer make the wage increase effective July 1, 2019 but would make it effective the 1st day of the month following the ratification date. Finally, despite the union bargaining committee never indicating it wanted any form of job action, the Employer said in the event negotiations moved to a labour dispute, the offer of 1.5% would be withdrawn.
The Union has no intention of coming back to the members with the same offer that was previously rejected. In response to the Employer’s position outlined above the Union has advised the Employer that we have reached an impasse in bargaining. We have written to the Minister of Labour to request conciliation in the hope that it will move the parties to resolve bargaining fairly and collaboratively. We are working with representatives of the Minister’s office and the Employer to set dates to meet for conciliation. We will continue to keep you informed of any news about the latest attempts to reach a tentative collective agreement that is fair and reasonable, and that our members will accept.
Your bargaining committee thanks you for your support during this extended round of bargaining.
Your SEIU-West bargaining committee:
SEIU-West members: Dena Gillies; Yolanda Dryland; Ashley Gedir • SEIU-West staff: Cam McConnell (Negotiations Officer); Barb Landry (Union Representative).