New Member Orientation

Welcome to Your Union!

SAHO/Saskatchewan Health Authority

HSAS has negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations Inc., which acts as the bargaining agent for the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

Why a Collective Bargaining Agreement

A negotiated collective agreement is a legally binding contract between employees and employers that establishes the terms of your employment and your employer’s obligations, such as working conditions, wages & benefits, job security, and more.

Who do I contact, and when?

If you experience difficulties understanding the collective agreement or experience problems in your workplace, HSAS Labour Relations should be your first point of contact.

Labour Relations Officers are here to help by:

  • Answering questions about your collective bargaining agreement
  • Resolve day-to-day workplace issues
  • Provide workplace advice
  • Handle grievances
  • Negotiate collective bargaining agreements
  • When necessary, will defend members’ rights in courts, arbitrations and other legal tribunals

You can reach Labour Relations by phone at 1-888-565-3399 or [email protected].

Starting Your Employment as an HSAS Member

Letter of Offer or Appointment

Your employment with the Saskatchewan Health Authority should be confirmed in writing. You should have received your letter of offer or appointment before your start date.

If your letter is missing details, or you were not provided with a letter, please speak to your manager first.

For SAHO/SHA, your letter of offer or appointment should include:

For Full-Time Employees:

  • Job type: full-time, part-time, temporary, casual
  • Classification
  • Wage step
  • Hours of work (e.g., Standard Hours, Field Hours)
  • Designated base

For Other Than Full-Time Employees:

  • Job type: full-time, part-time, temporary, casual
  • Classification
  • Wage step
  • Hours of work (e.g., Standard Hours, Field Hours)
  • Designated base
  • Minimum number of hours and shifts per rotation or other defined period;
  • Reference to your availability for relief/casual work.

Rates of Pay

Wages are negotiated by your Union and are provided in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Your hourly wage should have been included in your letter of offer or appointment from the SHA. Please contact your manager or payroll administrator if you have questions about your salary or payroll deductions. If you believe that your wage is incorrect, contact Labour Relations immediately.

Recognition of Previous Experience

Article 18.05 – Recognition of Previous Experience outlines when and how your employer may recognize the previous experience. If you believe your experience has not been fully recognized, contact Labour Relations right away.   

Recognition of Previous Experience (Article 18.05)

Employees commencing employment, or commencing employment in a position never held previously, who have previous experience acceptable to the Employer shall be placed on the salary range in accordance with the following:

(a) Less than one (1) year of experience in the three (3) years immediately preceding the date of employment shall be placed at step 1.

(b) One (1) year of experience in the three (3) years immediately preceding the date of employment shall be placed at step 2.

(c) Two (2) years of experience in the four (4) years immediately preceding the date of employment shall be placed on step 3.

(d) Three (3) years of experience in the five (5) years immediately preceding the date of employment shall be placed at step 4.

(e) Four (4) years of experience in the six (6) years immediately preceding the date of employment shall be placed at step 5.

Notwithstanding the above, the Employer reserves the right to exceed the above guidelines where it is deemed necessary.

Where previous experience has been obtained through recent service in other than full-time employment, recognition of such previous experience will be based on the number of hours paid. One (1) year experience will be recognized for each full year of recent service, according to the full-time hours for that classification as defined in Article 15.

An Employee promoted to a higher classification in accordance with Article 21.10 will have their salary determined in accordance with the above provision or article 21.10, whichever is greater.

Probationary Period

All HSAS members who the SHA employs have a probationary period at the onset of their employment. Full-Time Employees shall be on probation during the first 975 hours worked.

Other Than Full-Time Employees shall be on probation during the first 975 hours worked, or twelve (12) months, whichever occurs first.

Approximately midway through the probationary period, your Employer should meet with you to provide feedback about your performance.

Seniority, Benefits & Portability


Seniority is the length of time, calculated in hours, that a person has served with an employer. You do not start to accrue seniority until the end of your probationary period. Once your probationary period has ended, seniority will be credited from your last date of employment (your start date).

Seniority is used to determine:

Your employer must maintain and post a seniority list in your workplace by February 1 of each year.

Employee Benefit Plans

When completing payroll forms, you should have been or will be provided with health benefits information, including your eligibility. Benefits that you may receive upon eligibility include:

  • Extended Health
  • Dental
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
  • Optional Insurance Coverage

Please contact your payroll administrator or Human Resources for detailed information regarding your benefits or visit – select HSAS.

Monetary Benefits

The following monetary benefits have been negotiated on your behalf by HSAS;

Article 19 – Allowances, Differentials and Other Payments: outlines instances where you are to be compensated or reimbursed for vehicle use, meals, incidental expenses and more.  

ALWAYS make copies of all receipts for your records before submitting originals for reimbursement. This ensures that you have a history or account of monies that may be owed to you while conducting SHA business.

Portability of Benefits

Suppose within one year you terminate a position with the SHA (or one of its affiliates) and return to their employment before the end of that year. In that case, you may be eligible to port benefits and seniority from your previous job with the SHA. You may be able to transfer:

  • unused sick leave credits up to 190 days;
  • most recent vacation accrual rate and years of continuous employment considered in the calculation of the same;
  • seniority accumulated at the time of termination;
  • unused family leave credits;
  • most recent salary step if employed within the same classification, or recognition of previous experience as per Article 18.05, whichever is greater.

Letter of Understanding #14 Re: Special Provisions For Retention And Recruitment

If you have relevant employment experience that was obtained outside of the HSAS bargaining unit and accept employment with the SHA, or one of its affiliates, within 90 days of terminating from your former employer, you may be eligible for:

  • Transfer of unused sick leave credits up to a maximum of thirty days – 240 hours
  • Recognition of most recent vacation accrual rate, up to the maximum allowed by the SAHO/HSAS Collective Agreement.

If this applies to you, it is your responsibility to provide verification of entitlements from your previous Employer to your current manager or payroll administrator. Please do so as soon as possible.

Leaves of Absence, Vacation & Public Holidays

With the exception of Family Leave, there are several leaves that probationary employees can access, along with vacation allowances and time-off for public holidays. Below is a summary of what is available to HSAS members who work for the SHA.

The full articles can be found in Article 11, Article 12 & Article 13 in the CBA.

You are strongly encouraged to read through the full articles in the CBA.

Article 11.05 – Bereavement Leave: Leave with pay is available upon the death of a family member.

  • Up to four (4) working days in the event of the death of the spouse (opposite or same sex, married or unmarried couples), fiancé, mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter, grandparent, grandchild or someone with whom they have an equivalent relationship.
  • Up to two (2) days in the event of the death of a father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, or daughter-in-law, grandparent-in-law, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or someone with whom they have an equivalent relationship.
  • Employees who have to travel five hundred (500) kilometres or more one way to attend a funeral or other family responsibilities related to 11.05 (a) and (b) shall be granted an additional two (2) days off without loss of pay.
  • Insofar as the regular operation of the Employer will permit, up to four (4) hours to attend the funeral of a co-worker.

Article 11.11 – Maternity/Parental/Adoption Leave: if you are expecting a child while employed by the SHA, you are entitled to up to 18 months of leave.

Employees who are in receipt of Maternity benefits from Employment Insurance (EI) are entitled to maternity leave top-up to 75% of their weekly gross pay Article 11.11(f) Supplemental Employment Insurance). This is available to birth mothers only for a maximum of 15 weeks. This includes the 1-week waiting period required by Employment Insurance.

Employees are also entitled to parental/adoption leave top-up of 75% of weekly gross pay following the 1-week waiting period required by Employment Insurance for a maximum of 10 weeks of parental adoption leave. Article 11.11(f) Supplemental Employment Insurance). You must receive EI benefits to receive this top-up.

Article 11.15 Interpersonal Violence Leave: upon written notification to your employer, you are entitled to a paid maximum of 40 hours and an unpaid maximum of a further 40 hours if you face interpersonal violence in your personal life. You may request time off in lieu or vacation to maintain income during the unpaid portion of this leave.

Sick Leave

Article 12 – Sick Leave: If you need to be absent from work due to illness or injury not covered by the Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB), you are to report this to your immediate supervisor or designate soon as possible ahead of your shift. You may be asked to provide a “certificate of illness,” which is a doctor’s note.

When you start your position with the SHA, you are given an advance five days (40 hours) of sick leave credits.

Full-time employees accumulate sick leave credits at the rate of one and one half (1 ½) days per month worked up to a maximum of one hundred and ninety (190) days.

Other than full-time, Employees shall earn sick leave credits on a pro-rata basis.


The vacation year runs from April 1 of one year up to and including March 31 of the following year.

On the first day of the new vacation year (April 1st) the maximum amount of vacation you can have in your bank is all the vacation you earned in the previous vacation year, plus five (5) days from prior years.

Vacation for full-time Employees is earned and accumulated as follows:

  • During the 1st year of employment, including the 3rd year of continuous employment – 3 weeks (15 days).
  • During the 4th year of continuous employment, including the 14th year – 4 weeks (20 days).
  • During the 15th year of continuous employment, including the 24th year = 5 weeks (25 days).
  • During the 25th year of continuous employment, and subsequent years of continuous employment – 6 weeks (30 days).
  • Other-than-full-time Employees shall earn vacation credits, as specified above, on a pro-rata basis.

Other Types of Leaves (more leaves found in the CBA)

Article 11.04 – Pressing Necessity: if you encounter an unforeseen personal issue that is sudden or unusual, you may choose to use entitlements such as vacation, public holiday or earned time to cover the time needed to be away from your position.

Article 11.07 – Medical Care Leave: If you cannot make necessary medical care outside of work hours, this provision provides up to 16 hours per year for medical care leave, which (when used) is deducted from your Sick Leave bank.

Article 11.08 – Service Leave: On request, and with four or more years of service, you may, on one occasion only per fiscal year, be granted up to four (4) weeks of unpaid leave of absence without loss of benefits.

Occupational Health & Safety

HSAS is dedicated to safe workplaces and ensuring union representation on Occupational Health & Safety Committees (OHC) throughout the SHA and its Affiliates.

The HSAS OHC has developed a process for the election or appointment of members to the OH&S committee.

HSAS Governance

Your union is governed by members like you, elected to the Union’s Executive Council. The Executive Council serves the Union and its Membership through policy governance, advocacy, and committee work.

Are you interested in learning more about the Executive Council and the business of the Union?

Funds, Scholarships & Awards

HSAS maintains several funds to assist HSAS members and their families.

  • Community Engagement Volunteer Fund supports HSAS member engagement in community activities and causes that support the mission of HSAS.
  • Education Fund provides funding towards an education event directly related to a member’s current job.
  • Emergency Fund may provide members with monetary assistance when an unusual circumstance arises.
  • Labour Relations Fund encourages HSAS members to increase their knowledge of labour relations; therefore, the course applied must relate directly to this subject area.
  • Roberta Ekberg Award recognizes outstanding, long-standing commitment and contribution to furthering and promoting the vision, well-being and interests of HSAS.
  • Ron Currie Award is a scholarship awarded to a Pharmacy student in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Saskatchewan.
  • Silver Anniversary Scholarship is open to a spouse or dependent of an HSAS member enrolled in full-time studies at a post-secondary educational institution leading to a degree, diploma or certificate.
  • Warren Chykowski Memorial Award honours the memory of Warren Chykowski as a valued member of HSAS for all he accomplished during his years of involvement with the Union.

Annual Convention

Each year Union members from across Saskatchewan participate in the Union’s Annual Convention.

Join us for the HSAS Annual Convention! This two-day event brings HSAS members, Executive Council and staff together for the annual general meeting, keynote speakers, learning opportunities and more.

Click here to learn about becoming a Convention Delegate.

What Next?

Thank you for completing your Union orientation! We hope that you have a better understanding of HSAS, what we provide and how your Union can help you at work.

Do not hesitate to contact your Union. We are here to help and can be reached by phone, email or message via our website.

Thank you for

Completing the orientation