Three days of bargaining took place on March 5-7, 2019. These days built on the progress that had been achieved January 15-17, 2019.
The parties continued work on ‘housekeeping’ items with agreement being reached on three additional items in several articles – 1.19 – Definition of Saskatchewan Health Authority, 19.06 – Northern Allowance Provisions, and 26.11 – Severance Pay. The updated language will reflect the transition from health regions to a single health authority.
In addition, Article 23.10 and several Letters of Understanding were reviewed to assess their relevance going forward. After review and discussion between the parties, it was agreed that Letters of Understanding 19 and 20 will be retained with updated time frames and Article 23.10 will see an update to the terminology. The Letter of Understanding regarding the inclusion of the Midwife classification will now be included directly in the collective agreement
Over the three days, agreement was also reached on language in five additional articles. These include:
1. Article 4.05– Orientation of New Members
- Current language provides 30 minutes plus travel time for a union representative to orientate new HSAS members during their orientation period.
- Additional language commits the employer to provide notice of any orientation sessions and a list of new HSAS members included in any of those orientation sessions.
2. Article 12.10 -Graduated Return to Work
- Currently, a meeting of the Employer, Union representative and member must take place prior to a member returning to work on a graduated return to work (possibly after an illness or injury).
- In order to facilitate a member’s ability to return to work, if a requirement for modified hours is the only restriction, a member will be able to return to work prior to a meeting taking place, provided there is mutual agreement (in writing) between the Union and the Employer to do so.
3. Article 12.11 – Duty to Accommodate
- Currently when a member with a disability is returning to work, the member provides the Employer with a physician’s certificate which verifies their ability to return to work.
- A language change to “medical certificate” from “physician’s certificate” will allow increased flexibility so that a member may obtain this information from a physician or from a nurse practitioner.
4. Article 13.05 – Vacation Selection
- Current language describes the annual vacation selection process which occurs prior to March 1 of each year. It does not include a process for vacation requests submitted subsequent to March 1.
- New language for vacation requests submitted subsequent to March 1 will provide a process which is on a first come first serve basis and if denied, includes the requirement for the employer to provide written reasons within ten days or prior to the requested vacation, whichever is earlier.
5. Article 15.10 – Phone Calls After Hours
- Currently, this article refers to a member who has been designated to receive work related phone calls and the payment received for those calls.
- New language will recognize that members designated to receive that work-related communication may now be receiving it through other means (such as emails) and not necessarily just through phone calls.
Next dates for bargaining have been set for April 23-25, 2019 and your committee looks forward to continued progress in the negotiation of the next collective agreement.
HSAS Executive Director &
Negotiating Committee Chair