Wage increase and retroactivity
By now, members who have not yet had their salary increases appear on their pay statements should have seen an email from the WRHA explaining why this has not yet occurred. I have certainly read the email and in fact feel this is a direct result of our lobbying efforts at the Employer to communicate with their own employees regarding the status of the salary increases and retroactive payments. You may have also received an email from your Employer that there is a “target” date of June 30, 2016, for this work to be completed and have the increases in your hands. Keep in mind that this is, of course, simply a “target” but we will be working hard to keep them to that commitment. Once again, allow me to say that I fully understand the frustration members are feeling around the time the Employer has taken to implement these new rates and my hope is that the WRHA emails help you to understand the reasons behind this time frame. It will be my goal for the next and future rounds of bargaining to have the employer commit to a time frame for the adjustments of salary scales.
Recruitment and Retention Fund and Standardization Fund
We have received many emails and phone calls from members volunteering to represent their professions on each of these two committees. We have been discussing this fund with the Labour Relations Secretariat (now known as Provincial Health Labour Services). So far, there have been no official meetings as we were trying to ensure that the general increases and retroactivity were dealt with before starting the relatively complicated task of determining the distribution of these funds. On June 8, 2016, these committees were discussed by Executive Council and it has been determined that the committee of five will be made up of the President, the Executive Director, two members of the bargaining committee who are not part of the professions on the agreed-to lists and one flexible spot to allow us to bring in representatives of the appropriate groups as needed. More details will be shared as soon as they are known.
Printed Collective Agreements
We do have some good news to report and that is that we have made significant progress in preparing the new Collective Agreements for signatures and printing. Our administrative team has been working diligently to insert the new language into the Agreements and we are seeing many of the agreements coming back from the Employer after proofing. This hopefully means that we will be able to have signed and printed Collective Agreements in July.
Enhancing member’s knowledge of bargaining
During this last round of bargaining and especially during the ratification process, we heard a great deal of feedback in terms of what you did and did not understand about the entire process. It is very clear that we will need to provide even more information for you prior to us ever getting to the table for the next round. We certainly felt that we were able to provide more information than we have previously, but we understand that continual improvement in this area is the only way to help you to understand what is happening and why. As I wrote in the latest edition of our newsletter, which is available on the www.mahcp.ca website, we are in the process of revamping our Staff Representative Program and it is our intention to better take advantage of our workplace representatives to be able to share more information with membership.