The Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations Inc. (SAHO) has applied to the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board to conduct a vote among HSAS members on the employers’ last offer to the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS). The move followed a meeting between the two parties on April 27-28, 2015, at which time HSAS rejected SAHO’s final offer.

“We are disappointed that HSAS outright rejected the final offer, and after twenty-five months of bargaining, we have yet to reach an agreement. The application to the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board allows employees to consider the final offer which SAHO believes is fair and equitable, and comparable to other recent healthcare settlements,” said Doug Forseth, CEO, SAHO.  

Included in the final offer from SAHO were wage increases of 1.5%-1.5%-1.55% and 1.95% for the four years from 2013 to 2016 and enhanced premiums. HSAS has indicated to SAHO that there are two outstanding issues that remain regarding SAHO’s final offer related to retroactivity and professional fees.

SAHO’s proposal offers 20 months of retroactivity to be paid to HSAS members. Bargaining has been ongoing for more than 25 months. Over 13 months ago on March 12, 2014, SAHO provided HSAS with notice of their intention that retroactivity would cease to accumulate on September 12, 2014. The date was extended by two months to November 12, 2014. It is important for all concerned that settlements are reached in a timely manner.

Professional fees are determined by regulatory associations that are outside the control of the employer. Past fee increases have gone up by as much as 20% in a single year for some classifications. The cap on fees seeks a reasonable amount for fees, provides employers with some predictability, and can be renegotiated each agreement.

“We are hopeful that the employees will see the benefit of achieving a collective agreement that works for everyone involved, creating a sustainable healthcare environment for patients and their families.” Forseth said. “This is a package that respects our HSAS professionals and provides an offer that is comparable to other healthcare agreements.”
SAHO is a non-profit, non-government association responsible for providing collective bargaining, labour relations and classification/job evaluation services to health regions, the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency and affiliated agencies throughout the province.

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