President’s Message: Where to Vote and Why

For the majority of our healthcare membership, we have a very important vote on a tentative collective agreement coming up on Tuesday, January 21, 2014. The vote will be held in facilities across the province and in the SEIU-West union offices in Moose Jaw, Swift Current and Saskatoon. You can vote at any facility where it is most convenient for you…but you need to vote!

Some members have been pleased with the tentative agreement (TA) and some have been critical of the provisions negotiated. Both are legitimate reactions, but the SEIU-West Bargaining Committee felt that this was the time to put the decision in the hands of our membership. Ultimately, this decision will be made by those members who show up and vote their preference. This is why we have produced the TA and this is why we had our array of meetings to explain the contents. We want our members to know what they are voting on. If you have questions, we urge you to ask them.  Please call the Member Resource Centre (MRC) at 1-888-999-7348 or use the Contact Us form on the website.

Some members have asked why CUPE members are taking a strike vote. I cannot answer that question on their behalf. What I can tell you is that the CUPE agreement, the SEIU-West agreement and the SGEU agreement are all different collective agreements. There were different language priorities for each union and there were different concessions demanded from each of the three unions.

We continue to support our brothers and sisters in CUPE and SGEU. We have lobbied government to drop the concessions demanded of our sister unions; we have asked for the withdrawal of the ‘work for pay’ provision being demanded of our sister unions; and we will work with them no matter what the results of our vote or their votes are.

This ratification vote is important – this is your chance to participate in setting the workplace rules for all of us (the union membership and the employer representatives) for the next 3 years. Take the time to come out and mark your decision on your ballot in the vote on Tuesday, January 21 in the SEIU-West ratification vote on the tentative agreement with SAHO and the health regions.

Poll Times by Health Region:

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