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REGINA: The Canadian Union of Public Employees blasted the Saskatchewan Association of Health Care Organizations (SAHO) for their characterization of the status of negotiations.

The CUPE Health Care Council did not walk away from any bargaining table,” says Mike Keith, the union’s chief negotiator. “We have requested the employer put their entire bargaining package on the table. Yesterday, SAHO once again refused our request,” he says.

CUPE, along with SEIU and SGEU, have requested SAHO table monetary proposals so that the parties can make informed decisions at the bargaining table on all the outstanding issues. “We will not bargain in a vacuum,” Keith says.

The CUPE Health Care Council says the employer is bargaining in bad faith by refusing to disclose its monetary proposals.

We’re frustrated by the employer’s stalling tactics,” says Keith. “We’ve been at the bargaining table for four months now, but little progress has been made.”

He urged SAHO to return to the bargaining table with a monetary package. “We are ready to resume contract negotiations the moment that happens,” Keith adds.

The CUPE Health Care Council represents 12,500 health care providers. They include: special care aides, licensed practical nurses, food services workers, laundry, housekeeping and activity personnel, maintenance, clerical, medical diagnostic, therapeutic and recreational workers and medical technologists and technicians.

Keith says the union intends to pursue all avenues under the Trade Union Act to persuade SAHO and the employers to table their entire package and bargain in good faith.

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For more information contact: CUPE staff rep Mike Keith at 536-4856
CUPE Health Care Council President Gordon Campbell at 539-0661