Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
Your SEIU-West bargaining committee spent the week of May 23rd finalizing our union bargaining proposals. We also worked within our coalition group with SGEU and CUPE to finalize what we would see as coalition bargaining proposals.
On May 25th, we met with our coalition partners, SAHO and the Employer representatives for CUPE, SGEU and SEIU-West health regions. The parties went over some ground rules prior to SAHO presenting all three unions with the SAHO/Employer proposal package.
The government mandate was confirmed as a reduction of -3.5% of provider union compensation and then 0% for the following three years. This is the worst mandate we have ever seen.
SAHO and the employers’ proposal package contained concessions totaling 4.09%. SAHO called their package a “menu of options”, and offered the Unions a chance to choose the concessions they preferred in order to meet the -3.5% government mandate.
The menu of concessions include the following:
- A 1% general wage reduction to the base rates of pay with a 0% wage increase for the remaining 3 years;
- Creating two lower paid steps in the current pay bands – reducing the starting pay rate of a classification by approximately 7%;
- Eliminating the payment of professional fees;
- Eliminating the vehicle allowance;
- Eliminating the employer top up for direct WCB payments to employees;
- Eliminating time in lieu banks;
- Eliminating payment of stand-by rate when employees report to work;
- Elimination of any overtime or premium pay at double time, reduce all rates to time and a half;
- Return to premium pay rates in the 2008-2012 Collective Agreement:
- shift premium reduced to $2.43;
- weekend premium reduced to $1.80;
- stand by rate reduced to $2.19/hour and $4.12/hour;
- EMS standby reduced to $4.12/hour.
- Extended health and Enhanced dental plan:
- Employer allowed a contribution holiday to reduce plan funds;
- 3.1% guaranteed funding reduced to a “cap” on funding
- Employees pay 25% of the cost to fund the plan;
- Joint trusteeship of EHD plan.
- Reduce market supplement and market adjustment pay rates to 95% of Western Canadian Average (whatever that is).
And then there are SAHO/Employer proposals that do not have any effect on compensation, but are based on “principles.”
- Posted positions awarded to the employee with the “best” qualifications, not on the Joint Job Evaluation Job Description qualifications.
- Required to work a “supernumerary” shift to get paid for a missed call-in shift due to Employer error.
- Required to work a “supernumerary” shift to get paid for a missed overtime shift due to Employer error.
Your SEIU-West bargaining committee then presented our proposal package to SAHO and the employers at our individual table. We know SAHO and the Employers understand the concept of a mandate. We told SAHO and the Employers that we had received a mandate as well – from our members through extensive consultation – one can’t necessarily say the same thing about the government’s consultation – which as you all know was through phone calls, texts and emails, unit meetings, the electronic/paper surveys and our bargaining conference. We told the SAHO/Employer group they would have some choices to make as well.
We said that this would be a tough round of bargaining – that was an understatement!
Your bargaining committee need our members’ support now to help us get to a fair and reasonable Collective Agreement. We’ve been able to do this in the last two rounds of bargaining with our members’ engagement. Now, the Sask. Party government wants to take away all the gains we bargained the past. We need your help again. We are asking you to call, write, email and visit your Member of the Legislative assembly (MLA). We need you to inform them that that you are a health care provider employee, that you vote, and that you deserve a fair and reasonable Collective Agreement; not to be treated like a disposable worker. We need you to ask your family, friends and neighbors to do the same.
The mandate presented at our bargaining table is no less than a direct attack on health care providers by a short-sighted Government. Not only will it make doing our jobs harder, it will damage the sustainability of public health care services in an irreparable way. Faced with what amounts to a “head tax” on health care provider employees, what young worker would want to start a career in health care?
Attached is a list of Saskatchewan MLAs – please call them today and every single day that we continue to be stuck with this bargaining mandate. If you aren’t sure who your MLA is, send us a message on our website and we’ll help you find out.
We need to put the care back into our health care system – we all need to stand up and advocate for our system because its sure apparent this government is too distracted to do its job.
Please note: your SEIU-West bargaining committee wants to remind everyone that we need to stay strong and united with all of our co-workers. Do not let this mandate divide us from our co-workers; remember who is behind this bully bargaining…it’s a government mandate! Let’s stay focused and not attack each other.
Your SEIU-West bargaining committee has the following dates set for bargaining:
- May 30, 31,
- June 1, 13 and 14
- July 4, 5, 6, 24, 25 and 26.
We encourage you to share your questions and concerns about bargaining with your SEIU-West bargaining committee by contacting us through the Member Resource Center (MRC) at 1-888-999-7348 Ext 2298 or contact us through the “contact us” form on SEIUWEST.ca.
Your participation in your Union makes your Union strong.
SEIU-West Bargaining Committee.
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; Simone Corriveau; Kim Wyatt; Charlene Sarafin; • Staff: Bob Laurie (Dir. of Bargaining and Contract Enforcement); Russell Doell (Deputy Dir. of Bargaining and Contract Enforcement); Cam McConnell (Negotiations Officer) • President: Barbara Cape