July 21, 2016
Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
As you are aware, your Bargaining Team met with the Employer last week on July 11 & 12 in an effort to reach an agreement to revise your Collective Agreement which expired on April 22, 2016. During these meetings, we had the assistance of a government appointed conciliator who facilitated our discussions and exchanges.
Both days were long and difficult but progress was made and some of our outstanding issues were resolved. By the end of the day on July 12, the Employer tabled what they have called a ‘final offer’.
While most of what is contained in this offer meets the needs of our membership, there are still areas in this offer that cause us some concerns and, at the very least, require clarification. These areas are:
- Article 20 Hours of Work and Overtime
The Employer’s offer for the standard application of employees working the 12 hours shift is not clear in the manner it is to be applied as employees could be assigned to work anywhere from 10 hours shifts up to 12 hour shifts.
We proposed that your Union and the Employer work jointly to develop schedules to address the issues around the extended shifts such as the requested overlap. We also proposed that the parties work on any future issues or concerns that might arise. Given the vague language proposed, we are also concerned about the overtime provisions and at what point daily overtime would be recognized and paid.
- Article 23.03 Wellness and Personal Leave
The Employer has offered to increase your Wellness/Sick Leave provisions to seven (7) days per year to a maximum of 56 hours. They have maintained the provision that if you do not use your Wellness/Sick Leave in this year, 2 days can be carried forward to the next year and be used as Personal Leave days. This proposal does not address your desire to accumulate sick leave from year to year in order to have an appropriate bank to draw upon should the need arise. It also fails to acknowledge that some of you work outside an eight hour day. It appears full-time LPN’s would receive less than 5 days per year based on the Employer’s proposal.
The Employer has offered to provide a top-up of your wages which they claim would amount to approximately 15 paid days per year but, only if you qualify for short term disability. If you do not work sufficient hours, you will not qualify for the short term disability benefit. The top-up provision will also not apply during periods when you are sick only a day or two.
- Schedule A Hourly Rates of Pay
Given that the wage settlement for your Collective agreement follows the wage settlements negotiated between SEIU-West and the Saskatoon Health Region, your Union had proposed that any wage increase or monetary settlement in the Health Region would be immediately applied to your workplace and retroactive pay would be from the same date as in the Health Region.
The Employer instead presented us with language that sets out any retroactive pay would be from the date the Employer receives funding from the Government, which is quite different than what happens for your Health Region counterparts.
Your Bargaining Team has agreed to bring this Final Offer out for your consideration and a vote on the question of ratification. Your Team recognizes that there are some provisions in this offer that are fairly good improvements over your last agreement. We also acknowledge there are still concerns and questions. Your Bargaining Team is not making a recommendation: we want you to decide if the Employer’s offer is acceptable or not, and provide us with direction.
We ask that you read over the Employer’s offer carefully and cast your vote on its contents on Monday, July 25th. Voting will take place at Samaritan Place in The Pub over three different times:
- 6:30am to 7:45am
- 10:30am to 1:00pm
- 2:30pm to 4:30pm
These are the only times during which voting will occur and you must attend in order to cast a ballot. There is no provision for absentee or proxy voting.
We will release the result of the vote as soon as possible following the last voting session. We look forward to seeing you all on Monday, July 25th.
The SEIU-West/Samaritan Place Bargaining Team
Bev Beatty (Unit Chairperson) * Rena Olson * Janet Foth * Cheryl Resnick
Staff: Tracy Goodheart (Union Representative) * Kerry Barrett (Negotiations Officer)
Related Documents (Printable PDF):