CUPE health care bargaining update – March 2, 2021

The CUPE Bargaining Council and the Provincial Health Labour Relations Services (PHLRS) met for three additional days of bargaining on February 19, 23 & 25, 2021. 


The next dates we have set to meet with the PHLRS are March 4, 10, 17, 24, 31 and April 7, 14, 27 and 28, 2021.  For March and April, the Employer only provided one day per week to bargain.  CUPE will provide bargaining updates at the end of each month for March and April unless there is something urgent to report.

This round of bargaining is unique.  We are merging over 120 collective agreements into one.  This has never been done before to this scale.  Your Bargaining Council worked tirelessly to review all the current collective agreements and reviewed the survey results to prepare the proposal package that was presented. 

We have received a lot of questions on how bargaining works. 

CUPE prepared and presented our bargaining proposals to the PHLRS on February 9, 2021.  The PHLRS provided a partial proposal package.  Our proposal package includes changes we would like to see to the language of the collective agreement.  Examples would be changes on how overtime shifts are given out or how applications for job postings are handled.  Language in the collective agreement is what sets the rules for the Employer to have to follow. 

The proposal package also includes items that are considered “monetary”.  This means those proposals will, in some way, cost the Employer money if they are implemented.  Monetary proposals are always negotiated after the language portion has been agreed to.  Examples would be shift premiums, sick leave, maternity leave top up, benefits, pension and wage increases, etc.  Wage increases are the very last item to be negotiated.  CUPE will not have information about wage increases for a while yet.

A quick reference for how bargaining progresses:

  • CUPE members fill out bargaining surveys.
  • The Bargaining Council reviews the surveys and prepares proposals.
  • Proposals are exchanged with the Employer(s)/PHLRS.
  • Both sides make changes and discuss the proposals.
  • Monetary proposals are discussed.
  • Wage increases and the length of the agreement are discussed.
  • A collective agreement is provided to the members for ratification (voting on).

If you have any questions or comments, you can send an email to [email protected].