Alberta Health Services
General Support Services
Local 054, 056, 057, 058, 095

Tentative Agreement Between AUPE and Alberta Health Services

Documents to review


If you have not received your ballot by October 24, 2018, please email ahsgssvote@aupe.org to request a new one. Your ballot is not considered lost until October 24!


After a-year-and-a-half in bargaining, we have reached a tentative agreement with AHS that we, as your bargaining team, are recommending to our membership for acceptance.

Throughout this difficult round of negotiations, we never lost sight of the value of the work performed by the General Support Services members who are the unseen heroes of our health care system. This bargaining unit represents more than 100 classifications -- from administrative support staff and financial analysts to laundry workers and surgical processors, our work keeps AHS facilities safe and clean, and running smoothly.

One of our greatest challenges in this difficult round of bargaining was the "zero mandate" of wage freezes. The employer was adamant about these freezes, and so we were just as adamant about addressing longstanding inequities, strengthening the agreement's language and providing job security for our members in an uncertain future.

The mandate GSS members gave to the bargaining committee was for better internal equity among health-care workers, with a focus on benefits. In this tentative agreement, we have achieved improvements to areas such as overtime and health benefits, bringing our entitlements closer to the level of other AHS employees.

Some of these improvements will help members we heard from who are struggling with specific concerns, such as those burdened with the high cost of equipment such as CPAP machines, or diabetic supplies, including the flash glucose monitoring system (e.g. FreeStyle Libre). These were items our members felt strongly about, and we want you to know we heard you. We also achieved overall improvements that will help all benefit eligible members, such as enhanced dental and paramedical coverage and an increase of $100 to our annual flexible health spending account.

We have also succeeded in bargaining groundbreaking new rights for our members in this tentative agreement. For example, a new workload appeal process will give our members a tool to address ongoing workload issues. In addition, employment security provisions and protections against contracting out will stem the trend of selling off our jobs to the lowest bidder.

This agreement also guarantees our members job security until March 30, 2020. We have also added recent changes to Occupational Health and Safety and Employment Standards laws in our collective agreement, which protects these rights.

In fact, these changes go beyond the minimum legal protections for members struggling with challenges outside of work, such as new domestic violence leave provisions.

AHS GSS will be in the lead as the first health care group to take part in the wage reopener process beginning on January 15, 2019.

There is increasing justification for improved wages during the wage reopener talks, given the improving economic conditions in the province. If no agreement has been reached we will have the ability to apply for arbitration by March 31, 2019. The arbitration will be held no later than June 30, 2019, where we will be able to make compelling economic arguments about the value of our work.

We are recommending members vote in favour of this tentative agreement, but ultimately the choice is yours. By voting in the ratification process outlined below, you can have your say.

If you vote in favour, this tentative agreement will take effect. If you vote against, we will continue to negotiate the Essential Services Agreement and prepare our next move in the face of a possible strike or lockout.

Your bargaining committee thanks you for your patience, support and participation throughout the bargaining process. We know that only a mobilized and engaged membership can help us achieve the recognition, respect and equality that we deserve.


TERM OF THE AGREEMENT: April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2020

Monetary:

2017 – no wage adjustment

2018 – no wage adjustment

2019 – wage reopener negotiations. Starting January 15, 2019, AUPE and AHS will begin negotiations for wage increases to retroactively take effect on April 1, 2019. This date is earlier than all other health-care union has been able to achieve to begin wage negotiations.

If the parties are unable to reach a negotiated agreement, it will be referred to third-party independent binding arbitration. We will have the ability to apply for arbitration by March 31, 2019 and arbitration would be held no later than June 30, 2019.

Other monetary improvements:

  • Article 22 – Overtime changes listed below affect both full-time and part-employees:
    • Employees can bank overtime at 2 times the basic rate of pay up to 38.75 hours, at any given time.
    • Overtime on statutory holidays paid at 2.5 times the basic rate of pay and 3 times the basic rate of pay on Christmas Day and August Civic Holiday.
    • Employer will provide access to a meal at no cost when employees work a double shift.

Improved Rights and Language in the Collective Agreement.

Benefits: (closer to parity with other groups of AHS employees)

  • Improved diabetic coverage including flash glucose monitoring (e.g. FreeStyle Libre), effective Sept. 1, 2018.
  • Flex spending account increased by $100 to $850/year, effective January 1, 2019.
  • Usual and customary dental coverage (an averaging of dental claims over a 12-month period), effective April 1, 2019.
  • Supplemental health plan effective April 1, 2019 – 100% coverage for CPAP device; increased hearing aid coverage to a maximum of $500 every 24 months; physiotherapist coverage increased to $35 per visit to a maximum of $700 per year; increased coverage for chiropractor to $35 per visit to a maximum of $700 per year; increased coverage for chartered psychologist, master of social work, and certified addictions/drug counsellors to $50 per visit to a maximum of $700 per year; and increased coverage for podiatrist/chiropodist to $35 per visit to a maximum of $700 per year.

Health and Safety:

  • Article 11 Health and Safety – Amended to follow changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, including the employer’s obligation to have policies in place on workplace violence, harassment, bullying and working alone.
  • New Article 13A Protective Clothing and Equipment – Any protective safety clothing and equipment required by the employer will be provided at no cost to the employee, as stated under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations. The employer will also reimburse employees required to wear steel-toed safety footwear, up to a maximum of $170 every two years.

Job Security:

  • New Article – Provides onerous obligations on the employer to justify contracting out any General Support Services work.
  • New LOU – pilot project of additional hours at five worksites (to be determined).
  • Article 9 – An employee’s Human Resources file will be deemed cleared of any record of discipline after 18 months with no further discipline (reduction from two years to 18 months).
  • Article 16 – Layoff notice period increased from 14 days to 28 days.
  • Article 17 – Temporary employees are eligible to apply for postings within three months of the expiry date of their current temporary position.
  • Article 19 – Improved timeline for the reclassification process.

Leaves and entitlements:

  • Article 32 – Incudes new leave provisions provided under the new Employment Standards legislation:
    • Maternity
    • Parental
    • Caregiver
      • Compassionate/Terminal Care
      • Critical Illness
    • Death or disappearance of a child
    • Domestic Violence – Employees can access up to 10 unpaid days and may use any applicable leaves.
    • Citizenship ceremony
    • Military leave
  • Article 27 – Part-time employees to be paid 5% of their basic rate of pay in lieu of paid holidays.

Employee/Management relations:

  • Article 3 Union Recognition – Employer will provide access to electronic copy of the collective agreement on Insite (AHS internal staff network) and hard copies on request.
  • Article 6 No Discrimination, No Harassment – Significantly expanded this article including the obligation for the employer to ensure a hard copy of this policy will be placed on each unit and department.
  • Article 8 Grievance Procedure – Amended to include that every effort should be made to resolve problems at the local level prior to going to written grievance and to share all relevant information in order to have a meaningful discussion.
  • New LOU Workload Appeal – A new appeal process has been put in place to address members’ workload concerns.
  • New LOU – Wage Equity Committee – Discuss and address possible internal wage inequities within the bargaining unit.
  • New LOU – Exclusions – Language to review all new out of scope classifications up to and including managers.

For more information, please contact your Local Bargaining Team Members:

AHS GSS BARGAINING TEAM MEMBERS:

Local 054

Nancy Woods nancy.janer@gmail.com
Charity Hill charity.johanson@gmail.com

Local 056

Lynne Jones lynnejones92@hotmail.com
Lauren White viagratte@hotmail.com

Local 057

Darren Graham local57bargaining@gmail.com
Ray Tweedle tweedleraymond@gmail.com

Local 058

Karl Clauss clauss42@gmail.com
David Ibach daveibach@telus.net

Local 095

Stacey Ross sross13@shaw.ca
Dusan Milutinovic dusan.aupe@yahoo.com

AUPE STAFF:

Chris Dickson Lead Negotiator
1-800-232-7284 or c.dickson@aupe.org

Mac McNaughton Negotiator
1-800-232-7284 or m.mcnaughton@aupe.org

Trevor Zimmerman Organizer
1-800-232-7284 or t.zimmerman@aupe.org

Farris Sobhani Organizer
1-800-232-7284 or f.sobhani@aupe.org

Tyler Bedford Communications
1-800-232-7284 or t.bedford@aupe.org


Please review the entire tentative agreement on this page and look for your ballot package in the mail in the next few weeks.

Please make sure you cast your vote! We want to hear from you.

VOTING PROCESS

  • Your ballot package includes one ballot and one postage-paid return envelope.
  • Mark only one box on your ballot and do not write additional comments. Ballots that are marked inappropriately will be deemed spoiled and will not be counted.
  • All ballots must be received by AUPE Headquarters in the postage-paid return envelope by noon on Nov. 13, 2018. Ballots will be counted on Nov. 14, 2018.
  • The outcome will be determined by the majority (in favour or against) of all returned ballots.

Important note about potential Canada Post service disruption:

Our mail-in ratification vote could be impacted by future strike action taken by members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) or a potential lockout by the Canada Post Corporation (CPC). Currently, rotating job action has not impacted voting.