April 11, 2017 - Dear CUPE Health Care Member:
On March 28, 2017, the provincial government introduced Bill 53 – The Provincial Health Authority Act and Bill 54 – The Provincial Health Authority Consequential Amendment Act, 2017 in the Saskatchewan Legislature.
Your CUPE Health Care Council is pleased that Bill 53 makes clear that agreements, including collective agreements, with existing health regions will continue to apply to the provincial health authority (PHA). Also, any “claim, cause of action or proceeding” brought against an existing regional health authority, such as a grievance, will continue against the PHA.
(Regina) Saskatchewan’s three health care provider unions, CUPE, SEIU-West and SGEU, have been working collaboratively to present a proposal to government that would mitigate the impacts on patient, client and resident care while government transitions to one provincial health authority. This proposal calls for a formal bargaining council structure to help stabilize labour relations and negotiate with the new authority.
March 27, 2017
Dear CUPE Health Care Member:
On March 22, the Sask Party government unveiled one of the most regressive provincial budgets in Saskatchewan’s history. The budget slashes funding to education, universities, libraries, municipalities, and scraps our public transportation company, STC. It expands regressive consumption taxes, while simultaneously cutting personal income and corporate taxes to benefit the wealthy.
The budget also attacks working people by setting out a $250 million reduction for compensation across the entire public sector, starting in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. That’s a 3.5 per cent reduction in this new fiscal year, followed by three consecutive years of zero increases.
At this point, the provincial government has not signalled that it will introduce legislation to roll back wages or benefits enshrined in collective agreements. The Wall government expects the 3.5 per cent compensation savings to be achieved through “negotiations” with the unions representing public sector employees.
March 9, 2017
Dear CUPE Health Care Member:
CUPE, SEIU, and SGEU met with SAHO on March 7 to discuss bargaining logistics (meeting frequency, locations, venues, etc.), order of proceedings (common table versus individual union tables), and communication protocols. No bargaining proposals were exchanged at this meeting.
Unfortunately, these preliminary discussions were sidelined when the health provider unions were informed by SAHO about two hours into our meeting that Saskatchewan’s Minister of Finance would be sending a letter to the heads of all public sector unions.
Minister Kevin Doherty’s letter stated that Premier Wall would be asking Cabinet Ministers and MLAs to reduce their salaries by 3.5 per cent starting in 2017 to 2018. Staff in the Premier’s office and Ministers’ office would be required to take nine unpaid days off a year.