Regina: CUPE health care providers voted to give their bargaining committee a strong strike mandate, one the CUPE Health Care Council intends to take to the bargaining table when contract negotiations resume tomorrow in Regina.
The CUPE health care providers who work in five health regions voted 88 per cent in support of taking job action – one of the strongest strike votes in the council’s history. The ballots were counted last night, at the conclusion of a membership-wide vote which took place from May 26 to June 8.
“It sends a strong message to the employer to drop the demands for major concessions and get serious about contract negotiations,” says Gordon Campbell, President of the CUPE Health Care Council.
The CUPE Health Care Council, which bargains on behalf of 12,600 health care providers, asked members to support the strike vote in an effort to motivate the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO) to conclude a fair contract settlement.
Although CUPE health care providers have been without an agreement for nearly 15 months, the employer has refused to make any monetary offer at the bargaining table. In contrast, SAHO offered a significant wage increase to SUN members less than two months after their contract expired last year.
“Our members are fed up with SAHO’s arrogant attitude and the second-class treatment,” says Campbell. “They want a contract that recognizes and values their contribution to health care – and they’re prepared to take job action to get one,” he says.
Campbell says he hopes to see “meaningful progress” at the bargaining table this week. Talks are scheduled to take place June 10 – 12 and June 15 – 17.
Health care providers include: special care aides, licensed practical nurses, food services workers, laundry, housekeeping and activity personnel, maintenance, clerical, medical diagnostic, therapeutic and recreation technologists and technicians.
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For more information contact: Gordon Campbell at 539-0661 or
Suzanne Posyniak at 525-5874 or 535-5293.