Saskatchewan health professionals reach impasse

Union negotiating with 88 per cent strike mandate
By Gordon Sova
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 02/25/2011

A strike by 3,000 Saskatchewan healthcare professionals appears closer as management has rejected the latest union demands.

On February 24, the Health Sciences Assn. of Saskatchewan (HSAS) presented the Saskatchewan Assn. of Health Organizations (SAHO) with a new set of demands “with no significant withdrawals,” according to the employer group. It costed the union’s demands at 30 per cent.

The union, HSAS, had rejected management’s most recent offer on February 22.

According to the union, management’s offer was “totally unacceptable.” It provides 1.5 per cent, one per cent, 1.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent, plus market adjustments for six classes, over four years. The increases, which date from April 1, 2009, would not be retroactive if the offer were not ratified by March 31.

In addition, leaves of absence for alternative employment would be limited, access to flexible “field” hours would require approval, overtime language would be clarified and banked overtime would be limited to 100 hours.

HSAS further claimed SAHO was operating under a double standard because it had given managers increases of up to 37 per cent and new benefits, including a salary top-up during maternity leave.

On February 23, Saskatchewan’s doctors agreed to a package that will give them increases of three per cent, five per cent, three per cent and two per cent over four years for a total of 13 per cent.

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