Tag Archives: Saskatoon Health Region

President’s Message: SHR Budget Update

On January 18 a team of senior management from Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) led by interim CEO Andrew Will came to SEIU-West’s Saskatoon office to discuss the latest developments in SHR’s efforts to deal with its budget issues. SEIU-West was represented by Director of Contract Bargaining and Enforcement (CB&E) Bob Laurie, Deputy Director of CB&E Russ Doell, Vice-President Neil Colmin, Treasurer Janice Platzke, Member Resource Centre Officer Angela Hosni and Research Officer Karman Kawchuk.

We have been hearing from and meeting with many of you and understand you have questions: will there be layoffs, and if so, where and when? Unfortunately, after this meeting we don’t have any more answers to these questions than we did after our last meeting with SHR leadership – see the December 21, 2015 President’s Message: Saskatoon Health Region.

Nevertheless, Mr. Will offered some hope that there are opportunities for all of us to have a positive effect on the outcome.

Mr. Will said he was very impressed by and grateful for SEIU-West’s post about the December meeting. He said he was especially struck by the member’s question “Where did the money go and how did we get such a large deficit?” and he spent the first part of the meeting attempting to answer it. SHR had a balanced budget a couple of years ago, but since then its expenses have risen much faster than its revenues. Some of this, he said, is because of population growth in the region and province, but some may be because SHR is not spending as wisely as it could be. He pointed out that more than 90% of SHR’s revenue comes from the provincial government, and that in the current economic situation the government is not in the mood to significantly increase its grants.

SHR leadership is currently preparing a draft “sustainability plan” which they will submit to the SHR Board and the Ministry of Health. They hope this will happen by the end of January. After the Board and Ministry have their input—which might result in big changes to the plan–the plan will be shared with SEIU-West and other stakeholders for feedback. It is unclear at this point when the plan will be finalized.

Mr. Will stated that “there will be job impacts” as the plan moves forward, but insisted that SHR wants to keep these impacts to a minimum. He assured us that SHR is open to all suggestions and will be examining all expenses.

As part of this initiative, you can expect to see information on your unit’s “visibility walls” about how much your unit costs to operate. Mr. Will has been part of several organizations that have encouraged front line workers to suggest ways to improve service and save costs. In his view, these organizations didn’t provide workers with enough detailed information about how much their particular work unit costs to operate. He wants to provide front-line workers with that kind of information, on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis, to help them develop informed suggestions and, if those suggestions are being tried on their unit, to help workers see as quickly as possible what impact their suggestions are having.

We encourage our members to take part in this process. SEIU-West believes that our members are the experts in health care and are best positioned to talk about how to keep our system healthy and functioning, and to identify cost saving ideas that will avoid layoffs. We made several suggestions at the meeting, including:

  • Ensure that our LPNs are allowed to work to their full scope of practice;
  • Improve training for front-line managers; and
  • Improve opportunities for current workers to become Continuing Care Assistants (“learn while you earn”).

I can advise that as of today’s date, no formal notice of layoff has been provided to SEIU-West. We will continue to work with SHR to minimize the impact of budget issues on patients, clients, residents and staff. The work that is done by our members in health care is a resource that does not lose it’s value.

Please feel free to forward your suggestions to my attention (barb.cape@seiuwest.ca) and we will ensure that all of your valued input is shared with SHR.

We are committed to ensuring clear and timely communication to all our members as this process develops. Keep checking our website and union boards for further information – we will provide updates as we have them.

We are stronger together!

In Solidarity,

Barbara Cape
President – SEIU-West

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SEIU-West/SAHO Bargaining Update no. 28

We wanted to provide you with a status up date on the implementation of the collective agreement that SEIU-West members voted to accept on Jan 21, 2014. Notice of ratification between SAHO and SEIU-West was exchanged on Jan. 24, 2014.

Click on the link below to download the printable PDF of the update:

SEIU-West/SAHO Bargaining Update no. 28

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SEIU-West/SAHO Memorandum of Tentative Agreement

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SEIU-West/SAHO Vote Results

SEIU-West members employed in the Saskatoon, Five Hills, Cypress and Heartland Health Regions exercised their right to vote on their Collective Agreement on January 21, 2014. A majority of members voted to…

Click on the link below to download the full update in PDF:

SEIU-West/SAHO Vote Results – January 23, 2014

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SAHO/SEIU-West Ratification Vote Date

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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:

Related Documents and links:

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Reminder: SAHO Ratification Vote Date

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Highlights of SAHO Tentative Agreement

On December 6, 2013, SEIU-West reached a tentative agreement with SAHO and the Regional Health Authorities.

Click on the link below for the printable PDF version of the Highlights of the SAHO/SEIU-West Tentative Agreement document.

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SAHO Ratification Vote Date

The SAHO Provincial Tentative Agreement Ratification vote will be held on Tuesday, January 21, 2014.

Times and locations for all SEIU-West facilities will be posted on the Union bulletin board and the SEIU-West website.

Please watch for further information Please come out and vote.

Your SEIU-West Provincial Bargaining Committee appreciates your participation.

Get the printable PDF notification poster for your bulletin board by clicking on the link below:

Poster: Ratification Vote Notification – SAHO/SEIU-West

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SAHO Ratification Information Meetings

NOTICE: Due to weather conditions, the December 9th meeting scheduled for Swift Current at 4:30 pm has been RESCHEDULED to Monday December 16th at 4:30 pm

Ratification information meetings are being held across the province for SEIU-West members who are covered by the SAHO collective bargaining agreement during the next two weeks.

At these meetings, members of the SEIU-West bargaining team will be on hand to provide you with information regarding the tentative memorandum of agreement between SAHO and SEIU-West, as well as answer any questions you may have.

Please note these meetings are for information purposes so you know what is in the tentative agreement – you will not be voting on the contract. 

We will be scheduling meetings to hold the ratification vote during January 2014.

Full meeting location details are available in the posters below:


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