Health Care Bargaining Update, March 3, 2022

CUPE met with the Provincial Health Labour Relations Services (PHLRS) on February 9, 16, 23 and March 2, 2022.  We have bargaining dates on March 16, 23, 30, and April 6, 13, 20, and 27, 2022.  We continue to see positive movement at the bargaining table, thanks to the efforts and support from members.


Public Health Restrictions 

The provincial government has stated that health care workers will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination or undergo frequent testing for COVID-19 starting March 1, 2022.  We do not know yet what this will mean for anyone who is on an unpaid leave of absence because or refusing to get tested.



CUPE has launched a petition to the provincial government, calling on them to prioritize bargaining for health care support workers and provide support to front-line staff.  CUPE members and their families and friends have submitted over 4,000 petitions.  That is over 4,000 emails in the inboxes of government.  The petition is to add pressure to the government to prioritize health care support workers.  We have been successful in flooding their emails and ensuring that health care support workers are not forgotten.  You can sign the petition here:

The pressure applied by the petition and the awareness campaign has worked!  We have begun monetary discussions.  Normally monetary discussions do not happen until all the language is negotiated.  We still have language proposals on the table including vacation, overtime, casual seniority, job reclassification, training and education, STAT pay, and rules for part-time employees.  Approximately 60% of the language proposals have been agreed to.



The health care support staff awareness campaign has begun.  The radio ads and social media ads have started.  TV commercials, billboards, bus shelter ads, and yard signs are coming.  Please share the social media ads and fill out the petition.  It is just a few clicks!


Wear Black Wednesdays

Bargaining happens every Wednesday.  We are asking members, who are able, to wear black clothing on Wednesdaysto show support for the Bargaining Council.  Black is the colour of strength!  Black is also one of the colours of mourning.  We are mourning the lack of a contract.  If you cannot wear black clothing, wear wristbands or a black lanyard or something black.  We started “Wear Black Wednesdays” on March 2, 2022.


Retroactive Pay

Retroactive pay for the General Wage Increases (GWI) must be negotiated.  Retroactive pay has always been part of health care bargaining and we expect it to be included this time.  The collective agreement states that retroactive pay will be paid by a separate cheque within 120 days of ratification.  If you retire or quit before the collective agreement is ratified, you must ask the Employer to receive any retroactive pay owing to you.  You need to include your current address in this request to ensure you receive the cheque.  This must be done in writing (an email will do) within 90 days of ratification of the new collective agreement.  You can submit this request as soon as you retire or quit as well.  Please copy your union representative when you do submit the request.  If you do not submit the request within 90 days, you will NOT receive the retroactive pay.


Some of the former union collective agreements expired in different years.  Anyone that received a general wage increase in 2017, 2018, or 2019 already (even if it was zeros) will have their retroactive pay adjusted so that it matches the GWIs for everyone else.


Please make sure we have your most recent contact information, including cell phone number and personal email.  We do not use work contact information to reach you for union business.