REGINA, March 24, 2016: Members of the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) have ratified a March 3, 2016 tentative agreement reached with the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO). In province-wide voting yesterday, 91.5 per cent of members who cast ballots voted to accept the new four-year agreement.
“SUN members are pleased to have language in their new contract that enables them to exercise their professional judgement when it comes to calling in the additional nursing staff they deem necessary to ensure the safety of their patients,” said SUN President, Tracy Zambory. “This respect for their legislated role as the coordinators of patient care was extremely important to registered nurses.”
On February 11, 2016 SUN declared an impasse as negotiation talks had stalled over the issue of whether registered nurses should have the autonomy to make staffing decisions to address real-time patient care needs. Under the terms of the Saskatchewan Employment Act Special Mediator, Richard Hornung, QC, was appointed by government to assist the parties in reaching an agreement.
“We have come a long way since these negotiations began more than 8 months ago, and we are incredibly appreciative of the dedication and patience of the SUN negotiations committee and for the support of SUN members throughout the process,” added Zambory. She also thanked SAHO and the Special Mediator for their hard work.
Saskatchewan’s registered nurses had been without a collective agreement for close to two years, with the previous agreement having expired on March 30, 2014. SUN and SAHO had been actively bargaining since July of 2015.
Once the agreement has been ratified by both the union and employer, SUN members will be entitled to two lump-sum payments to a maximum of $800 for each of the fiscal years of 2014 and 2015 and a 1.5% general wage increase in each of the following years. The lump-sum payments will be calculated based on all paid hours, exclusive of overtime, leaves of absence and Workers’ Compensation (WCB).
SAHO is expected to ratify in April, 2016.
SUN represents 10,000 Registered Nurses (RNs), Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPNs), Registered Nurse(Nurse Practitioner)s (RN(NP)s) and graduates in the province.
Contact: Lars Murran
Public Relations Officer