After years-long standoff, SEIU-West finds common ground with province
A health care worker is seen in this file image.
SASKATOON -- SEIU-West says that after more than 1,300 days without a new collective agreement, members achieved a tentative agreement on Thursday.
In the coming weeks, SEIU-West health care members will review the details of the agreement prior to voting, according to a news release.
Details of the agreement will not be released publicly until after the vote. The deal must be ratified within 60 days.
“Our members have been working hard, without fail or falter, without a new collective agreement since March 31, 2017,” President Barbara Cape said in the release.
“They will get to review the terms of the tentative agreement, ask questions, and they will get to express their opinion through their vote.”
Cape said the agreement doesn’t address what she calls “critical understaffing.”
“Our government needs to invest in the front line services that are offered in our health care system by really working with us in meaningful ways. They need to appreciate that ‘care’ in health is interconnected among hospitals, long-term care, home care, and community and mental health services.”
The Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations said in a release that the deal will make a total of four collective agreements achieved by unions which, aside from affiliate organizations, are all now operating within a single provincial health authority.
“I am very pleased to see the collaborative efforts made by both parties to reach an agreement providing stability in important health services during this challenging time of a pandemic,” Health Minister Paul Merriman said in the release.
“SEIU-West members are highly valued members of our health care teams and are relied on by Saskatchewan residents and I would like to thank them for their dedication.”
SEIU-West represents 11,500 licensed practical nurses, special care aides, custodians, clerical staff and other professions working in acute care, long-term care, home care, primary health care, emergency medical, public and mental health services.