Your bargaining committee would like to report members have ratified the three-year tentative agreement following a mail-in ballot count at AUPE headquarters in Edmonton on Nov. 14, 2018.
A majority of all returned mail-in ballots in favour determined the outcome.
The agreement expires March 31, 2020 for more than 26,000 AHS GSS members and includes significant improvements to:
Furthermore, wage increase negotiations for 2019 – 20 will start January 15, 2019.
If an agreement on wage increases cannot be agreed to at the table, 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.
A reminder to members that the timeline to allocate your flex spending account begins Nov. 28 and ends Dec. 11.
All members of AUPE Locals 054, 056, 057, 058 and 095 had the opportunity to participate in the mail-in ratification vote.
Your committee thanks members for taking the time to vote on their tentative agreement, and for the patience and resolve shown throughout this difficult round of negotiations with Alberta Health Services. We encourage you to continue to be involved in the bargaining process as we enter the wage reopener in January.
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.
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
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:
Improved Rights and Language in the Collective Agreement.
Benefits: (closer to parity with other groups of AHS employees)
Health and Safety:
Leaves and entitlements:
For more information, please contact your Local Bargaining Team Members:
AHS GSS BARGAINING TEAM MEMBERS:
Nancy Woods email@example.com
Charity Hill firstname.lastname@example.org
Lynne Jones email@example.com
Lauren White firstname.lastname@example.org
Darren Graham email@example.com
Ray Tweedle firstname.lastname@example.org
Karl Clauss email@example.com
David Ibach firstname.lastname@example.org
Stacey Ross email@example.com
Dusan Milutinovic firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Dickson Lead Negotiator
1-800-232-7284 or email@example.com
Mac McNaughton Negotiator
1-800-232-7284 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Trevor Zimmerman Organizer
1-800-232-7284 or email@example.com
Farris Sobhani Organizer
1-800-232-7284 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tyler Bedford Communications
1-800-232-7284 or email@example.com