Health Care Employers Negotiating Essential Services Agreements


Health Care Employers Negotiating Essential Services Agreements

The twelve Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) in Saskatchewan have started negotiations for essential services agreements with four unions representing health care workers whose collective agreements expire on March 31, 2012.

Under the obligations of The Public Service Essential Services Act, enacted in 2008, employers and unions must begin to negotiate essential services agreements 90 days prior to the expiration of the collective agreement. Several RHAs have started to meet with the provider union representing employees of their respective region, and employer representatives have met with the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) for separate agreements with the regions.

Essential services agreements, including services, classifications of workers, numbers and names of employees, are to be negotiated between the employers and unions. Under the legislation, agreements are not required to be in place when collective agreements expire, however, if potential job action occurs prior to concluding negotiations of essential services agreements, employers have the ability to designate employees by name.

Draft proposals including services and classifications have been prepared as a starting point by the employers and will be presented to the unions for discussions at upcoming meetings.

This is the first time that essential services agreements under The Public Service Essential Services Act will be negotiated with SUN.

“The public can be assured that employers and the unions are in the process of negotiating essential services agreements, “stated Bernie Young, Acting Vice President, Labour Relations of the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO). “Requirements under the legislation will be met by employers in order to protect life, health or safety of health care users.”

Regina Qu’Appelle, Sunrise, Sun Country, Prairie North and Prince Albert Parkland health regions negotiate individual agreements with CUPE locals. Saskatoon, Cypress, Five Hills and Heartland health regions negotiate with SEIU-West, and Kelsey Trail, Mamawetan, and Keewatin Yatthe health regions negotiate with SGEU.

- 30 -

PDFSAHO News Release 10012012

Return to News >>