Your CUPE bargaining committee was scheduled to bargain with the SAHO bargaining committee on November 14, 15, and 16. Unfortunately, the employer cut the bargaining session short before noon on the second day.
Historically, CUPE 5430, SEIU-West, and SGEU have bargained “common proposals” at a table with SAHO. These proposals have been limited to certain monetary items. This process requires agreement between all three unions and SAHO.
In this round of bargaining, SAHO’s 71-page proposal package is, for the most part, a rewrite of our collective agreement with the intent to remove our independence as a union. Additionally, the employer is pushing for numerous concessions that will worsen working conditions for you and all health care members.
Throughout the bargaining process, your bargaining committee has made it clear to the employer that we are bargaining improvements to our collective agreement – not a common collective agreement that applies to outside unions. We formalized our position to SAHO today, in writing, that we are bargaining a CUPE/SAHO collective agreement. For an issue to be bargained at a multi-union table, the three unions and SAHO must agree to that process.
SAHO’s response to this letter was to “pause” bargaining.
We have proposed improvements to the collective agreement that enhance your working conditions and address the current crisis in recruitment and retention. We have heard you. We know that you are struggling under crushing workloads and declining working conditions, while inflation hits a record high. Our proposal package was based on your priorities, including professional fees, standby, offer of relief work, fair wage increases, and compensation for hard to recruit workers.
Our goal as a bargaining committee is to achieve a collective agreement that works for you and to reach conclusion without delay. Today, when SAHO decided to “pause” bargaining, we urged them to stay at the table, and they refused.
Our next scheduled bargaining dates are December 11, 12, and 13. This is going to be a difficult round of bargaining, and we are going to need to stay strong and united to reach a fair collective agreement.
Please consider attending our upcoming Coffee with CUPE on the topic of bargaining and stay tuned for further action.
Your Bargaining Committee:
Bashir Jalloh (President), Linda Renkas (Vice-President), Nancy Black (Recording Secretary), Rhonda Osipoff (Treasurer), Linda Vancuren (R1), Sharon Paul (R2), Janell Hubbard (R3), Adrienne Gardiner (R4), Corinne Sopel (R5), Lori Sutherland (staff), Justin Mercier (staff), Craig Thebaud (staff)