March 4, 2016 12:35 am
Updated: March 5, 2016 3:48 pm

Sask. nurses union, health organization reach tentative agreement on contract talks

WATCH ABOVE: After seven months of negotiation, nurses in Saskatchewan have reached a tentative contract agreement with the province. Ryan Kessler takes a look at the four-year deal and how the two sides came together so quickly with the help of a mediator.


The Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations Inc. and the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses have reached a tentative agreement in a seven month dispute. Few details about the agreement have been released, but the new four-year agreement would be effective from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2018.

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At issue was a proposal to change how nurses call in additional staff to the workplace. The union previously said nurses were able to request more maintenance, kitchen, or even snow removal staff, but only some RNs can call in additional nursing staff if they think it’s necessary for patient care.

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SUN president Tracy Zambory said the new agreement addresses those concerns.

“What we were able to achieve, is that the charge nurse, in real time, in a situation, is going to have the autonomy … to be able to call in more nursing staff,” Zambory said.

The union has 60 days to ratify the agreement.

“I am pleased to report that in a relatively short period of time the parties were able to reach an agreement,” said Richard Hornung, the mediator of the dispute in a news release.

“I don’t recall ever having parties move so far so quickly on fundamental issues. This is a testament to the professionalism and goodwill of both organizations.”

SAHO CEO Doug Forseth said he’s pleased to see “a great many issues” resolved.

“Health employers very much appreciate the role, as part of the health care team, that nurses have. We value their dedication and their contribution to the health system,” Forseth said.

If the union votes in favour of ratifying the agreement, the changes will take effect immediately.

With files from the Canadian Press and Ryan Kessler.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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