News

SAHO and HSAS Reach Tenative Agreement

09-Jul-2015 – The Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations Inc. (SAHO) and the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS) have signed a memorandum of agreement on a tentative five-year collective bargaining agreement. “We are pleased that we have r... READ MORE »

SAHO's final offer rejected by HSAS

27-May-2015 – The Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations Inc. (SAHO) tabled a final offer to the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS) on April 10, 2015 following 20 months of negotiations. HSAS rejected SAHO’s final offer, and SAHO submitted... READ MORE »

SAHO FINAL OFFER TO BE PUT TO HSAS VOTE

29-Apr-2015 – 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 mo... READ MORE »

Supreme Court allows appeal to the Public Services Essential Services Act

30-Jan-2015 – The Supreme Court has allowed the appeal to the Public Services Essential Services Act, in a decision to constitutionally protect the right to strike. There is further analysis being conducted, and an in-depth summary will be provided with further informati... READ MORE »

Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS) Collective Bargaining - Outstanding Issues

09-Oct-2014 – HSAS represents more than 3,400 health support practitioners in health regions throughout Saskatchewan. Past negotiations have required third party intervention to settle the disputes. The following provides information related to the outstanding issues. ... READ MORE »

SAHO tables final offer to HSAS

26-Sep-2014 – The Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO) has tabled a final contract offer to the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS), following intensive negotiations and employer compromise over the past year. SAHO returned to the bargai... READ MORE »

SAHO seeks to continue bargaining with HSAS

09-Jul-2014 – The Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations Inc. (SAHO) is seeking to return to the bargaining table with the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS). Recent negotiations stalled on June 27 when HSAS rejected the latest proposal from SAH... READ MORE »

SAHO RWDSU Reach Agreement

01-May-2014 – A four-year collective agreement between the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations Inc. (SAHO) and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) has been ratified by all parties for the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region. {module_literat... READ MORE »

SAHO CUPE Reach Agreement

14-Apr-2014 – A five-year collective agreement between the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations Inc. (SAHO), health region employers and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has been ratified by all parties for the five regional health authorities wi... READ MORE »

SAHO CUPE Reach Tenative Agreement

10-Mar-2014 – The Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations Inc. (SAHO), on behalf of the regional health authority employers, and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) reached a tentative agreement on March 7th. {module_literature,i,204531} READ MORE »

SAHO's final offer rejected by HSAS

- Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations Inc. (SAHO) tabled a final offer to the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS) on April 10, 2015 following 20 months of negotiations. HSAS rejected SAHO’s final offer, and SAHO submitted an application to the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board to have an independent vote conducted among HSAS members. Members have voted to reject SAHO’s final offer.

The vote had a 63% response rate from the membership, with 80% of those responding rejecting SAHO’s final offer.

“We are disappointed that HSAS members have rejected the final offer. The collective agreement expired on March 31, 2013. SAHO has been engaged in ongoing negotiations with HSAS, and we have yet to reach an agreement that works for all parties. We applied to the Labour Relations Board to conduct a vote among the employees, after negotiations reached a stalemate,” 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%, along with enhanced premiums. HSAS is taking issue with SAHO’s proposal offering 20 months of retroactivity for time spent bargaining. HSAS is demanding 26+ months of retroactivity, with the final number of months being determined according to when an agreement is finally reached, as the timeline extends further.

“There is an increasing focus on achieving a timely conclusion to bargaining. Reaching a settlement in a reasonable period provides assurance to both employees and employers, as both benefit from the stability that a concluded agreement brings,” stated Forseth. “SAHO believes the offer to be fair and equitable and comparable to other recently settled healthcare agreements. With the rejection, the bargaining impasse will continue.”

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.

 

 

 

SAHO FINAL OFFER TO BE PUT TO HSAS VOTE

- Wednesday, April 29, 2015

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.

Supreme Court allows appeal to the Public Services Essential Services Act

- Friday, January 30, 2015

The Supreme Court has allowed the appeal to the Public Services Essential Services Act, in a decision to constitutionally protect the right to strike.

There is further analysis being conducted, and an in-depth summary will be provided with further information related to health care to follow.

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Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS) Collective Bargaining - Outstanding Issues

- Thursday, October 09, 2014

HSAS represents more than 3,400 health support practitioners in health regions throughout Saskatchewan. Past negotiations have required third party intervention to settle the disputes.

The following provides information related to the outstanding issues.

HSAS Position SAHO Position

Wages

On July 10, 2014, The Star Phoenix reported that HSAS stated “while salary rates are always a part of such negotiations, they are not the key issue in this case.”

HSAS proposes wage increases based on the change to the Saskatchewan Consumer Price Index (CPI), plus an additional 0.75 per cent per year.

Annual Time
Periods
Effective Date of Wage Rate Increase CPI Rate of Change Wage Rate Increase
Mar. 2011 to
Mar. 2012
April 1, 2013 1.8% 2.55%
Mar. 2012 to
Mar. 2013
April 1, 2014 1.3% 2.05%
Mar. 2013 to
Mar. 2014
April 1, 2015 2.3% 3.05%
Mar. 2014 to
Mar. 2015
April 1, 2016 To be determined To be determined

Wages

The final offer presented by SAHO is in line with recent settlements for healthcare workers and falls within western Canadian pay rates for health sciences professionals.

  • HSAS currently falls within western Canadian pay rates for health science professionals. (Saskatchewan ranges from 96% to 104% of the average range.)
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The previous HSAS collective bargaining agreement expired in 2013:

  • Over the course of the last 4 year agreement, the employees received 7.5% in wage increases
  • In addition, HSAS received 8.1% or $20 million in supplementary allowances for market conditions.

The healthcare system currently spends approximately $2.5 billion on healthcare wages, with roughly 37 cents of every tax payer dollar being spent on healthcare.

It is a priority to sustain a publicly-funded healthcare system for patients, families and all workers within the healthcare system.

SAHO wants a fair and equitable agreement that is comparable to western Canadian settlements for health science professionals.

HSAS has put a proposal package on the table that is almost twice as high as any other healthcare union has received in recently settled negotiations.

Since 1997, HSAS’ cumulative wage increases are double what the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been.

Over the past 16 years, employees represented by HSAS have received a 65% increase, while CPI has gone up only 34.7%.
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HSAS Position SAHO Position

Disclosure (Staff levels, client ratios, wait lists)

In the May 1, 2014 news release, HSAS stated “The last contract offer from the health regions, represented by the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO), would have continued to hide health care staffing and service levels…”

Disclosure (Staff levels, client ratios, wait lists)

Health regions / Employers are accountable to the public for day to day management of the healthcare system. The current collective agreement states that it is the right of the employer to manage operations: Article 7.0 Management Rights – The Union acknowledges that it is the right of the Employer to manage its operation and to direct the work force. Management rights are subject to the terms of the Collective Agreement.

It is the responsibility of the employers to determine appropriate healthcare staffing levels to ensure quality care and safety for patients and employees.

As per the terms of the collective agreement, the union is currently privy to all vacancy postings and is advised when the position is filled.

The currently tabled request from HSAS includes demands for information, which in some cases is not currently collected by the employer or is collected only for the purpose of reviewing labour market conditions.

SAHO has made a proposal in the final offer to provide more disclosure of information on market supplement issues.

HSAS Position SAHO Position

Essential Services

In an August 26, 2014 news release, HSAS stated, “For health regions to declare a worker ‘essential’, but then refuse to call them into work for their regular duties during a work stoppage is a clear violation of the law.”

Essential Services

Health employers are in compliance with the provisions of The Public Service Essential Services Act when scheduling employees for the duties that are considered essential.

The Public Service Essential Services Act ensures a safe level of staffing for both patients and employees during a labour disruption.

As the union declined to negotiate an essential services agreement prior to the expiration of the collective agreement, it is the responsibility of the employers to identify the employees who have duties that are essential in order to ensure safe levels of operation.

The reason employees are not scheduled for the hours that they would normally work, is because some of those hours would include the performance of duties that are not essential according to The Public Service Essential Services Act.

SAHO’s position is in line with other legal decisions where it has been determined that the employee’s right to strike must be protected apart from performing the essential duties required to ensure patient and employee safety.

HSAS Position SAHO Position

The Value of Saskatchewan’s Healthcare Employees

HSAS has repeatedly stated that the health regions “seem determined to under-value and disrespect the important work being done for patients by our specialized health care professionals.”

The Value of Saskatchewan’s Healthcare Employees

SAHO puts patients first, working with healthcare employers and unions to ensure that quality frontline care is available for all patients.

Employees represented by HSAS are highly skilled and valued members of the healthcare team.

SAHO seeks to achieve a fair and equitable collective bargaining outcome for both employers and the employees.

SAHO seeks to negotiate wage rates that are competitive with the western Canadian average for healthcare system workers

HSAS Position SAHO Position

Educational Leave of Absence

Requested that employees be eligible for additional leave and financial assistance for educational leave:

  • The employer will pay, at straight time, for each day that an employee attends an educational event, up to 24 hours (3 days).
  • Payment will be made even if the education day falls on an employee’s scheduled day off.
  • Employers will provide an accounting of the use of educational entitlement to the union upon request.
  • Funds committed to the educational initiative cannot be eroded by other operational requirements of the employer.

Educational Leave of Absence

Employers support the professional development of employees.

The current commitment to professional development for employees represented by HSAS is $1.3 million, with the proposed enhancements by HSAS elevating that to over
$4 million.

HSAS’ proposal would put unreasonable stress on regional health authority budgets.

HSAS Position SAHO Position

Professional / Licensing Fees

HSAS has rejected this proposal.

Professional / Licensing Fees

SAHO proposed that the maximum reimbursable amount for professional fees will be the amount established by the professional association or licensing body (required to practice) as of January 1, 2014.

To date professional licensing fees have been paid in full by the healthcare system.

Not all employees working for the public sector have their fees paid in full when professional licensing is a requirement of employment.

Providing employees with unlimited dollars for professional licensing fees opens the door for professional associations to charge without accountability to its membership.
Accountability should be the responsibility of the association members to ensure that increases are reasonable.

Capping the payment at the 2014 rate protects the healthcare system from unpredictable increases in cost.

HSAS Position SAHO Position

Reimbursement for Meal Expenses

HSAS has rejected this proposal.

Reimbursement for Meal Expenses

SAHO proposed adding the word “reasonable” to the existing language to state that the employer will reimburse an employee for (reasonable) substantiated meal expenses.

The employer has a responsibility to the taxpayer to ensure that expenses are reasonable.

HSAS Position SAHO Position

Leave for Union Business

HSAS has rejected this proposal.

Leave for Union Business

Requests that 72 hours’ notice be given for a leave for union business, exclusive of weekends and statutory holidays.

The existing language states that 72 hours’ notice will be given. SAHO looks to reduce scheduling complications and patient disruptions by asking that the 72 hours not include weekends and statutory holidays.

Related Documents

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SAHO tables final offer to HSAS

- Friday, September 26, 2014

The Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO) has tabled a final contract offer to the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS), following intensive negotiations and employer compromise over the past year. SAHO returned to the bargaining table with the HSAS for three days of scheduled bargaining on September 24-26, 2014.  SAHO tabled the final offer today.

“The offer is in line with recent settlements within the health sector and is comparable with other health science professionals across Western Canada,” said Doug Forseth, SAHO CEO. “We believe the offer is fair and reasonable and are hopeful that the union will give the offer serious consideration and agree to the terms as presented.”

HSAS represents more than 3,400 health support practitioners in health regions throughout Saskatchewan

“It is SAHO’s goal to achieve a collective agreement that works for everyone involved,” Forseth said. “We want to assure the public that in the event of a potential labour disruption, The Public Essential Services Act will ensure a safe level of staffing for both patients and employees.”
 
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.

The HSAS collective agreement expired on March 31, 2013.

SAHO seeks to continue bargaining with HSAS

- Wednesday, July 09, 2014

The Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations Inc. (SAHO) is seeking to return to the bargaining table with the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS). Recent negotiations stalled on June 27 when HSAS rejected the latest proposal from SAHO and declined to present a counter offer.

“SAHO’s interest is to develop a positive relationship with all healthcare unions in the province,” said Doug Forseth, SAHO CEO. “We value the skilled contributions of our entire healthcare team, which includes our health science professionals.” SAHO has engaged in the collective bargaining process with HSAS to reach an agreement that is affordable to the healthcare system, meets the needs of the patients, employers and the union, and which is comparable to other health science professionals across Western Canada.”

HSAS represents more than 3,400 health support practitioners in health regions throughout Saskatchewan. Past negotiations have led to rotating strikes in 2011, job action in 2007 and the longest healthcare strike in Saskatchewan’s history in 2002. Negotiations have often required third party intervention to settle the disputes.

The appointed provincial mediator has provided a final report that precludes further bargaining. This begins a 14-day cooling off period before immediate strike action can be pursued by HSAS, according to the new Saskatchewan Employment Act. “We respect the Saskatchewan Employment Act legislation and will follow it accordingly, but we also encourage HSAS to return to the table to achieve a collective agreement that works for everyone involved,” Forseth said. “Our preference would be to return to the table, but in the event that HSAS does pursue strike action, the Essential Service Act will ensure a safe level of staffing for both patients and employees during a labour disruption.”

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.

 

SAHO RWDSU Reach Agreement

- Thursday, May 01, 2014

A four-year collective agreement between the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations Inc. (SAHO) and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) has been ratified by all parties for the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region.

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SAHO CUPE Reach Agreement

- Monday, April 14, 2014

A five-year collective agreement between the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations Inc. (SAHO), health region employers and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has been ratified by all parties for the five regional health authorities with employees represented by CUPE including Regina Qu'Appelle, Sun Country, Sunrise, Prince Albert Parkland and Prairie North. 

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SAHO CUPE Reach Tenative Agreement

- Monday, March 10, 2014

The Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations Inc. (SAHO), on behalf of the regional health authority employers, and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) reached a tentative agreement on March 7th.

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