Regina (June 9, 2011) – After spending weeks calling for a negotiated contract settlement, health care employers today refused to negotiate when presented with a new contract proposal from Health Sciences, and promptly left the bargaining table, Health Sciences President Cathy Dickson said.
“SAHO has blown an important opportunity to reach a negotiated contract settlement. Their shocking refusal to negotiate in good faith will result in an early escalation of health care strike action,” Dickson said.
“In recent weeks, the Premier, Minister of Health and SAHO have all refused our ongoing requests for independent, interest-based binding arbitration, claiming they wanted to see a new contract negotiated at the bargaining table. However, when we came to the bargaining table today saying we were willing to negotiate through the weekend in an effort to reach a contract settlement, health care employers refused to even discuss the terms of their most recent offer or our counter proposal. So much for good faith negotiations!” Dickson noted.
“Going into today’s meeting, we were confident that real progress could be made and we believed that a new contract was potentially only a few days away. In fact, yesterday at the bargaining table, SAHO negotiators had invited us to respond to their so-called ‘final offer’. However, today the story was very different. SAHO refused to negotiate any of the terms of its offer and decided to leave the bargaining table altogether. Their actions derailed an important opportunity for a negotiated settlement,” Dickson added.
“It’s amazing that the Wall government is prepared to allow SAHO to make the Premier and a number of his Ministers look like they have been misleading the people of Saskatchewan. The government has been saying for weeks that they want a negotiated settlement, and claimed there was room to move if only Health Sciences would return to the bargaining table. As soon as we did, SAHO presented a ‘final offer’, refused to negotiate any of its terms, and left the bargaining table. Is SAHO acting on its own or was the Wall government misleading us all along?” Dickson asked.
“Further announcements about renewed health care strike action will be made through the news media as early as tomorrow,” Dickson concluded.
Health Sciences is the union which represents more than three-thousand specialized health care professionals from more than thirty health care professions. Health Sciences members include: Emergency care workers like Paramedics; Acute care workers like Hospital Pharmacists, Perfusionists, and Respiratory Therapists; Rehab professionals like Physical Therapists and Speech Language Pathologists; and Community-based professionals like Public Health Inspectors, Psychologists and Social Workers.
For Further Information Contact:
Cathy Dickson (President, Health Sciences)