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Member Communique: Collective Bargaining Update

 February 22, 2017

Dear CUPE Health Care Member:

The CUPE-SAHO collective agreement expires on March 31, 2017.

Since December 2016, CUPE has been meeting regularly with our health provider coalition partners – SEIU and SGEU – to coordinate our approach to the upcoming round of bargaining with SAHO.

CUPE, SEIU, and SGEU had preliminary meetings with SAHO on January 13 and January 24, 2017 to discuss logistical issues for the upcoming round of bargaining in light of the provincial government’s decision to replace the existing 12 health regions with one single provincial health authority (PHA).

SAHO served CUPE, SEIU, and SGEU with its notice to bargain on January 27, 2017. All three unions will be meeting with SAHO on March 7 to discuss bargaining logistics, order of proceedings (common table versus individual union tables), and to confirm initial bargaining dates. The health provider unions and SAHO will not exchange proposals at this meeting.

In the meantime, we are hearing more and more about the provincial deficit and the impact this may have on public services and our members. Given the province’s “serious fiscal situation,” SAHO has been instructed to “work collaboratively” with all health unions to ensure that there will be no increased payroll costs for the fiscal year 2017-2018. The Premier of Saskatchewan has mused about laying off 4,900 health care workers to address the $1.2 billion provincial deficit. The Minister of Finance has suggested that the province may make all public sector employees take one unpaid day off per month (the equivalent of a 5% wage rollback). Other public sector unions, even those with closed agreements, have been asked to consider wage rollbacks, reduced employer contributions to pension and benefit plans, no increments, and reduced overtime and standby rates.

Your CUPE Health Care Council strongly believes that health care and other public sector workers are not responsible for the fiscal mess the provincial government finds itself in now. And we should not be threatened with layoffs, wage freezes, and sweeping concessions when the government has other budgetary alternatives it can consider.

CUPE will continue to stand up for our members and the public services we provide with every tool we can, including legal mechanisms. But now, more than ever, we are asking for the support, strength, and solidarity of members as we enter into what will be a very difficult round of collective bargaining.

If you want to take immediate action, please consider joining CUPE on March 8 for a rally to stand up for public services ( http://www.sfl.sk.ca/rally ).

CUPE will continue to keep you updated as collective bargaining proceeds. Learn more at www.cupesaskhcc.ca 

In Solidarity,

Your Health Care Council Executive

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

pdfDownload Member Communique PDF

Rally for Saskatchewan

Show your support for public services and stand up against cuts, austerity and this government’s misplaced priorities.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Legislative Building

Regina, SK

Beginning at Noon (12:00 p.m.)

The Rally is being held in conjunction with the Annual Convention of CUPE Saskatchewan and delegates will be transported to the Rally.

If your CUPE Local membership outside Regina is interested in attending, please contact: Nathan or Jodi at the CUPE Saskatchewan Office at 306-757-1009 to coordinate transportation.

RALLY MARCH 8 2017 CUPE Internal Poster

Balancing budget on the backs of workers just plain wrong, says CUPE Saskatchewan

REGINA: The Government of Saskatchewan has sent a letter to all public sector employers calling for wage reductions. This move is a step back for public services and the working people who provide them, says CUPE Saskatchewan.

“Public sector workers did not cause Brad Wall’s billion dollar deficit – Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party government did,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan. “Wages for public sector workers barely keep up with inflation, and in many cases they have fallen behind. Many CUPE workers in education, health care, and social services have seen their workload balloon while their wages stagnate. Asking these workers to pay the price for Brad Wall’s fiscal mismanagement is unfair.”

“Every citizen of Saskatchewan should be concerned about what this means for the quality of public services in this province. In the name of balancing the books, are children going to lose their educational assistants or librarians? Are seniors going to lose hours of care?” added Graham.

Read more: http://sk.cupe.ca/2017/01/16/balancing-budget-on-the-backs-of-workers-just-plain-wrong-says-cupe-saskatchewan/

Article from the Leader Post: http://leaderpost.com/news/local-news/government-tells-school-divisions-to-reduce-salary-costs-opens-door-to-renegotiate-contracts


Member Communique: Restructuring in Health Care


CUPE Saskatchewan Health Care Council of Unions

CUPE Locals 3967, 4777, 4980, 5111, and 5999

January 5, 2017

Dear CUPE Health Care Member:

The Government of Saskatchewan has announced it plans to dissolve the current 12 health regions and replace these with one health region superboard in the fall of 2017.

When the announcement was made publicly on January 4th, it was the first CUPE had heard about the government’s plan, and few details were provided at the time. We are still working on understanding the full impacts of this decision on the workforce, and we anticipate future meetings with the Ministry of Health.

CUPE has serious concerns about how the creation of one provincial health authority will impact on our members, patients, and quality of care.

We know that the last two reorganizations caused uncertainty, stress, low morale, and confusion for our members. We want to reassure our members that there is no change currently pending to your employer, your collective agreement rights, or your representation by CUPE. Many changes will need to be legislated and should be preceded by a consultation process.

In the meantime, we want to hear from you. If you have any concerns, please contact your local union office. We will make sure we raise your concerns in our meetings with the government.

During this uncertain time, CUPE will continue to advocate on behalf of our members and for quality public health care across the province. We will continue to keep you informed as we learn more about how this restructuring will unfold. Learn more at www.cupesaskhcc.ca.

In Solidarity,

Your Health Care Council Executive

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

About CUPE 3967

CUPE Local 3967 has the distinction of being the largest CUPE Health Care Local in Saskatchewan and has the largest Membership in Canada.

Read more

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