Dear CUPE Health Care Member:

The CUPE Health Care Council and our Provider Coalition partners met with representatives of SAHO on May 3, 2017 to finalize the bargaining logistics meeting that was cut short on March 7.

The following dates have been confirmed for collective bargaining: May 25, 30, 31, June 1, 13, and 14.

The Provider Coalition proposed six additional bargaining dates in July, which SAHO has not confirmed as of this date. SAHO informed the Provider Coalition that there is a “sense of urgency” to conclude collective bargaining by June 30, 2017 given the province’s fiscal situation and the need for the government to start the budget planning process for next year.

At the same time, SAHO communicated that the provincial government’s mandate for bargaining is a 3.5 per cent reduction in compensation for 2017-2018 followed by three years of zero per cent increases.

It is unclear as of this date whether bargaining will begin at a common table or individual tables. SAHO has indicated it would like to deal with all three unions together as far as monetary and common items are concerned, though it will likely be tabling individual items for each union as well.

At the May 3 meeting, the Provider Coalition raised the possibility of negotiating one collective agreement for all three unions in accordance with the bargaining association initiative that CUPE, SEIU, and SGEU are promoting. SAHO indicated that it is premature from its perspective to be negotiating one collective agreement.

Your CUPE Bargaining Committee has no intention of negotiating wage rollbacks, benefit reductions, or concessions, nor do we accept SAHO’s arbitrary and unreasonable deadline to reach a tentative settlement. As we have noted before, we will need the support, strength, and solidarity of our members to fight back against the provincial government’s regressive wage mandate.

CUPE will continue to keep you updated with further developments as they become available. Learn more at www.cupesaskhcc.ca.

In Solidarity,

Your Health Care Council Bargaining Committee

Sandra Seitz, Pearl Blommaert, Jim Carr, Nancy Black, Scott McDonald, Helen Sawatsky, Donna Krawetz, Brian Manegre, and Wanda Edwards