Despite the best efforts by the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations to force an agreement on many of the province's health professionals, the members of Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (SAHO) have soundly rejected the final offer.
Regina (29 May, 2015) – Specialized health care professionals represented by the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS/CHPS) have voted 80 per cent to reject a so-called ‘final offer’ contract proposal from Saskatchewan health care employers that are represented by SAHO, reported Karen Wasylenko, HSAS/CHPS President.
A forced vote
“In spite of SAHO forcing our members to vote on this so-called final offer, and launching an extensive misinformation campaign throughout the voting period, our professionals have spoken loud and clear: they reject this unfair, disrespectful contract offer, which did not provide full retroactivity on proposed wage adjustments, and would have capped the employer’s share of future increases in professional licensing fees,” Wasylenko said.
“Throughout these long and difficult contract negotiations, health care employers, represented by SAHO, have shown that they disrespect and undervalue the vital work being done for Saskatchewan patients by our specialized health care professionals. This latest insult — forcing a vote on an unfair contract proposal — has been rejected out of hand by our professional members,” Wasylenko noted.
Rejection despite misleading propaganda from employer group
“This clear rejection came in spite of SAHO’s attempts to distribute misleading propaganda to our professionals in every health region. Some materials appeared to be designed to suggest their information was coming from Health Sciences rather than the employer; SAHO also threatened that a “no” vote could lead to early job action. How much better off would Saskatchewan health care and patients be today if SAHO had spent the past six weeks negotiating in good faith, rather than wasting time and public money on this misleading propaganda?” Wasylenko asked.
“SAHO seems determined to try to provoke Health Sciences into taking job action, rather than bargaining in good faith. The message of this vote is clear — SAHO needs to get back to the bargaining table with a new contract offer now,” Wasylenko concluded.
Strong rejection of offer
Ballots, 3,597 of them, were mailed to Health Sciences' members across the province on May 6 through the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (LRB). Under provincial law, the LRB supervised the voting process after SAHO forced the vote on its so-called final offer. The membership response rate was 63 per cent, with 2,268 returned ballots. Eighty per cent of the members voted "no" to the SAHO proposal.
Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan represents 3,600 specialized health care professionals from more than thirty professions including
- emergency care workers like paramedics
- acute care workers such as hospital pharmacists and respiratory therapists
- rehab professionals like physical therapists and speech language pathologists
- community-based professionals like public health inspectors and social workers
HSAS is a member of the Canadian Health Professionals Secretariat (CHPS).
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE