The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), Ehealth Saskatchewan (eHS) and the health provider unions, SGEU, SEIU-West and CUPE, met on October 9 and October 12 to continue negotiating the transfer of Information Technology (IT) employees from the SHA to eHS, expected to take place at the end of the year. The negotiations became necessary because of the Government of Saskatchewan’s instructions to the Ministry of Health for the SHA to abolish IT services in the provincial health authority and turn the service over to eHS.

SGEU, SEIU-West and CUPE met with representatives from the Saskatchewan Healthcare Employees’ Pension Plan (SHEPP) the morning of October 12 to discuss options for members relating to their pensions.

Each of our three unions polled IT members and, based on their input, presented a document to the employer that proposed the principles that would form the basis of an agreement on the transfer process.

The unions made it clear to the SHA, numerous times, that it was their intent to negotiate with the Employer through this transition but not in an information vacuum. Before any final document could be produced, the unions required information on all aspects of the transition (seniority, wage scales, employment rights, benefits, pensions, etc.) to make informed decisions.

The SHA representatives, when presented with the framework for an agreement, abruptly ended negotiations at 4:00 p.m. so they could, “step away to consider other options”. Their chief spokesperson indicated the employer side believed an agreement could not be finalized and signed before their self-imposed deadline of October 15, 2018. Interestingly, both sides agreed they were still waiting for costing information that might have an impact on the terms of any agreement.

SGEU, SEIU-West and CUPE are disappointed in the bad faith actions of the SHA, and while we are hopeful the Employer will see fit to return to the negotiating table, the unions are also reviewing options to best represent our members’ interests and to work to maintain our quality health care system.

In solidarity,

 

SGEU, SEIU-West and CUPE