The results of the forced vote ballot count are in. Of the 28 ballots sent to the members of HSAS by the Labour Relations Board (LRB) – 19 ballots were returned. The final outcome of the vote is based on the ballots returned within the time frame specified by the LRB (in the postal system on or before July 25, 2019) and that are cast either in favour of accepting the North East EMS Employer’s last contract proposal or in favour of rejecting the last contract proposal. 4 of the 19 ballots were returned outside the time frame specified by the LRB. The final count was based on 15 returned ballots.
Of the ballots counted:
11 Voted ‘NO’- rejecting the Employer’s last contract proposal
4 Voted ‘YES’- accepting the Employer’s last contract proposal
HSAS members have spoken. The North East EMS Employer’s last contract proposal is unacceptable.
HSAS Labour Relations will be contacting your Employer to request future bargaining dates.
While there have been some improvements negotiated along the process over the past 12 months, the Employer’s offer of April 26, 2019 has several significant and negative changes proposed. These include but are not limited to:
Article 12.03(c) – No overtime after 40 hours of work in a week
If the Employer’s offer is accepted, Members would no longer be paid overtime if they worked over 40 hours in a week. Instead, the hours of work would be averaged over four weeks. Potentially, a member could work a week which significantly exceeded 40 hours, but would not receive any overtime for those additional hours.
Article 12.05(g) – Language would now read “scheduling of work for casual Employees will be done on an equitable rotation basis, subject to each Employee’s consistent availability. Supervisors will be called whenever required by the Employer, regardless of their placement in the rotation
If the Employer’s offer is accepted, the Employer would have the ability to replace an HSAS Member with a Manager at any time and for any reason. This language also does not provide any definition for what ‘consistent availability’ means and gives the Employer excessive discretion when calling in staff.
Article 16.06 – Education Leave
Although this may give the illusion of a positive, there are several significant negatives.
Note: HSAS also has two grievances filed against the Employer. If the Employer’s offer is accepted in the ‘Forced’ Vote, the Market Supplement grievance could be jeopardized because the Market Supplement came into effect prior to the signing of any new NEEMS agreement and the Cumberland House Grievance would be considered settled. HSAS would not be able to proceed with them. The description and significance of each grievance is as follows:
Employer’s Failure to Recognize an increase to EMS wages as set out in the SAHO/HSAS Collective Agreement which came into effect as a result of the Market Supplement Program and has not applied this increase to the wages for HSAS Members working in NEEMS.
Through the SAHO/HSAS Market Supplement program, EMTs, EMT Coordinators, EMT-As, and EMT-A Coordinators received a 3.43% increase to their wages, retroactively to 2014. HSAS has filed the above grievance because HSAS maintains that the NEEMS Employer must follow the NEEMS Collective Agreement and provide our NEEMS members with the same increase received by HSAS members under the SAHO agreement. See the current SAHO/HSAS wage schedule below.
*In order for this grievance to continue through the process to resolution, NEEMS Members must reject the Employer’s offer in the Forced Vote.
The Employer has refused to apply the Collective Agreement when it assigns duties to HSAS Members to work in Cumberland House, Saskatchewan.
For several years, the Employer has attempted to have HSAS sign off on a Letter of Understanding (LOU) which would impact Members working in Cumberland House. HSAS has refused and has remained adamant that Members working in Cumberland House should be entitled to the same provisions, not lesser provisions than the rest of the NEEMS membership.
The Employer has included a Cumberland House LOU in the Forced Vote offer and is once again attempting to create different provisions for those working in Cumberland House.
Example: The Collective Agreement states than any hours worked after 8 hours would be paid at overtime rates. The Employer’s proposed LOU would see Cumberland House ACPs only receive overtime pay after working 12 hours not 8.
If the Forced Vote is not rejected by NEEMS members, none of the HSAS bargaining proposals below can be addressed in this contract. The Forced Vote must be rejected by members to allow bargaining to continue.