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A majority of health care workers in Saskatchewan have rejected the tentative agreement negotiated by the Health Care Council and the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations.

With 7,400 of the 12,000 members voting, 54 per cent voted to reject the agreement in ratification votes held earlier this week.

“Naturally, we were surprised by the results because preliminary indications were that it would be approved,” said Stephen Foley, president of the Health Care Council, “but our members are the ones who make the final decision and we respect that decision.”

Of the 22 locals, a majority supported the agreement in 17 of the locals. But locals in some of the larger centres appear to have had concerns related continuing disparity in wages and hours of work, benefits and seniority. The provincial executive is contacting local executives across the province to develop a plan to return to negotiations with SAHO.