Elmwood Plays Games While Its Employees Take Legal Job Action
For Immediate Release – February 23, 2018
Saskatoon: The members of SEIU-West who work at Elmwood Group Homes (EGH) were hopeful that there would be positive movement to their outstanding collective agreement negotiations – however they were disappointed yet again. Their employer agreed to resume bargaining, stating that they had a proposal, but wouldn’t formally present it unless the union committee promised to take an offer with no wage increase to the members for a vote.
“The employer’s proposal contained no movement on the essential issue of wages,” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “Our members on the bargaining committee voiced they have already taken the same Employer proposal to the members for a vote and it was unanimously rejected. As a result, the employer didn’t even show us their proposal.”
Support Workers at EGH have been without a wage increase for over four years and make less than $17.50/hr providing the full range of hands-on skilled care that residents and clients at EGH rely on daily.
“We’re disappointed in the lack of commitment to the bargaining process by EGH management,” stated President Barbara Cape. “The Support Workers who provide the actual hands-on care have been patient with this process; they have been loyal to their residents and clients – and they wonder, where is the employer’s loyalty to us?”
While EGH was served with legal strike notice by the union in compliance with the Saskatchewan Employment Act, SEIU-West members are only conducting a limited job action by withdrawing transportation for non-vital transportation to work and recreation activities. All other services are still being provided by the SEIU-West staff.
“Bargaining a collective agreement is not a game,” continued Cape. “Our members’ basic rights and wellbeing are at stake here. We are committed to getting a collective agreement, but EGH doesn’t appear to have the same commitment.”
EGH filed an Unfair Labour Practice complaint against SEIU-West for undertaking limited job action.
“They have claimed they are an essential services employer, but have done nothing to legitimate their claim under the legislation,” added Cape. “SEIU-West and its members see this as yet another game being played by the Employer.”
SEIU-West represents more than 13,000 working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They include members who work in health care, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors. They are joined by one colour – purple – and one union – SEIU-West. Purple works in our communities! Visit www.PurpleWorks.ca to find out more about the members of SEIU-West.
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For more information, contact: Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator Phone: 306-652-1011 ext. 8733