Opinion by CUPE Local 5430 President Sandra Seitz as published in the Regina Leader Post January 25, 2018
For years, the Saskatchewan Party government has been championing the benefits of public private partnerships (P3s) as a way to build public infrastructure. It has used the P3 model to build four major projects in the province, including the controversial Regina bypass and the new Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford.
CUPE’s collective agreement is the only provincial health care agreement that restricts the use of volunteers in order to protect the job security of union members.
Volunteers play an important role in our health care system. Health regions rely on numerous volunteers to carry out a variety of activities, including visiting and socializing with patients and residents.
However, under the CUPE-SAHO collective agreement, the Employer cannot use volunteers to fill existing or new positions and the use of volunteers cannot result in the direct layoff of any CUPE member.
The collective agreement further prevents the Employer from providing any wage or remuneration to a volunteer.
Join thousands of other CUPE health care workers in sending a strong message directly to Minister of Health Jim Reiter by filling out one of our bargaining postcards! We’re collecting them all for direct delivery to the government.
Fill out a postcard calling for a FAIR DEAL for all health care workers!
Ask a CUPE representative in your facility or contact your L. 5430 Regional Office to receive postcards to sign.
In a recent arbitration decision, CUPE was successful in challenging Sun Country Health Region’s attendance support program by overturning the termination of a member who was not adequately accommodated.
Legal counsel for Sun Country Health Region argued that it had just cause to terminate the CUPE member for innocent absenteeism, because the grievor exceeded the benchmarks established in its Attendance Support Program. On the other hand, CUPE argued that the grievor’s issues should have been dealt with through the accommodation process rather than in the context of the Attendance Support Program.
Health care restructuring and IT services
On November 30 the health care provider unions took part in a call with the Employer’s Transition Team who are tasked with managing transition issues as the health regions are amalgamated into the Saskatchewan Health Authority. The purpose of the call was to talk about IT services and the amalgamation to one service.
I am writing to share with you the information that was shared with the Unions.
The Unions were reminded that the amalgamation of IT was one of the stated goals of the report issued on healthcare restructuring. We were told that the 34 out of scope managers will be getting direction from eHealth but will remain employees of the Saskatchewan Health Authority. The in scope IT employees will not report to eHealth or be transferred at this time. In scope employees (CUPE members) will remain employees of the Regional Heath Authorities, and now the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
We have requested further information around the structure of the amalgamated information technology organization. In addition, CUPE stressed that it would be important for us to be part of further reviews of the structure.
We continue to be concerned about the effects of health care restructuring on our members and encourage you to contact your regional office if you have questions or concerns.
President, CUPE Local 5430
Only CUPE’s collective agreement can defend health care jobs by challenging the contracting out of bargaining unit work through an expedited arbitration process – protection you can count on in these times of increasing privatization threats.
The results are in from the province-wide referendum vote on the draft founding bylaws and policies of CUPE Local 5430. CUPE health care members have voted 80.5 percent in favour of the bylaws and policies in the vote held November 29, 2017.
The bylaws will now be sent to CUPE National President Mark Hancock for approval.
RE: Agreement reached to review Joint Job Evaluation Plan
On November 1, 2017 I wrote a message highlighting CUPE’s concerns about the education factor of he Joint Job Evaluation Plan and shared that we were working on this issue at the bargaining table. It was the focus of the talks at the bargaining table at the Oct. 30 – November 3 session as we reported in the last bargaining update (Nov. 7).
On November 23, 2017 the Health Provider Unions – CUPE, SEIU- West and SGEU reached agreement with SAHO (Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations) on a Joint Job Evaluation Plan review. A Letter of Understanding was signed on the issue to provide a process for a review of the Joint Job Evaluation Plan.
A little message from you CUPE health care bargaining committee. Bargaining resumed today and will continue until the 27th. Remember to wear your shirts, buttons, stickers, any of your CUPE swag and send us pictures. We find it really encouraging!
Members of the newly formed CUPE Local 5430 will have the opportunity to approve their founding bylaws and policies in workplace referendum votes to be held November 29, 2017.
The draft bylaws and policies were adopted at the founding meeting of the new provincial union held September 13 and October 12-13 in Regina, but require further approval from the membership in a referendum vote.
RE: Important Update - Joint Job Evaluation
In the late 1990s, CUPE, SEIU, SGEU and SAHO, through a joint job evaluation project, agreed to develop and implement a sustainable plan using the principles of Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value and Pay Equity.