The Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan has provided formal notice to the Government of Saskatchewan of an impasse in its collective bargaining with health care employers, as represented by the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO).
“Even though our members’ last contract expired more than a year ago (March 31, 2013), SAHO refused recently to attend two different sets of bargaining dates, which they proposed, then cancelled. In fact, when SAHO cancelled bargaining sessions planned for this week, they refused to propose new dates for the two sides to meet,” Health Sciences President Karen Wasylenko told a news conference.
“Clearly SAHO is refusing to bargain, and as required under Saskatchewan’s new labour legislation, we are providing formal notice of an impasse in these negotiations,” Wasylenko added.
“Under the new law, now that we have filed formal notice of an impasse, the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety shall appoint ‘a labour relations officer or a special mediator, or establish a conciliation board...to mediate or conciliate the dispute’. This is the new legal process required of us and we will be following it,” Wasylenko noted.
“We expect the Minister will respond quickly to appoint the independent assistance called for in this new labour legislation, as our members want to see us back at the bargaining table as soon as possible to achieve a collective agreement,” Wasylenko said.
“Health care employers, as represented by SAHO, have created this impasse. They seem determined to under-value and disrespect the important work being done for patients by our specialized health care professionals,” Wasylenko concluded.
Health Sciences represents more than 36,000 specialized health care professionals from more than thirty professions including: Emergency care workers like Paramedics; Acute care workers like Hospital Pharmacists and Respiratory Therapists; Rehab professionals like Physical Therapists and Speech Language Pathologists; and Community-based professionals like Public Health Inspectors and Social Workers.