Health care workers across Saskatchewan will be meeting the week of February 15 to review the details of a tentative settlement worked out with the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations.
Negotiations were difficult, with slow progress on a large number of issues including parity, job security and improved wages and benefits. This is the first contract since a massive restructuring of health care services in Saskatchewan, and the employers’ group claimed that it did not have the funds for parity.
A one-day strike by 12,000 CUPE health care workers and a rally by 2,000 before the Legislature in Regina helped to pressure the province to provide additional funds to secure a settlement.
“We wanted parity in wages and hours of work and we achieved most of that. We wanted better benefits and we got them. We wanted a strong job security clause and we got it. We wanted better wages and we got them,” said chief negotiator John Welden. “Because we fought hard, and because the members backed our committee 100 per cent, we were able to achieve most of our goals.”
Information meetings will be held for the 22 locals from February 15 to 19, with ratification votes scheduled the following week.