HSAS Member Bulletin - Issue 5 - December 2015
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Understaffing Hurts Everyone

A Message from the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan
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President's Message

The Year of Challenge and Success

Convention is now over, and we look forward to an exciting and challenging time this coming year.
It has been a pleasure to serve as your President over this past year, and I look forward to another two year term as your President.

This year has been a very busy year for HSAS Executive Council, Committees and staff. It also has been a challenging time for HSAS.

Yet it could be said that this past year along with its challenges, could also be referred to as a year of success. The success was due to the commitment and engagement of your Executive Council, the Committees, and the collective power of the membership.

The commitment and engagement of your Executive Council this past year proves that HSAS is truly a “member driven” organization. The Executive Council is the legislative and policy making body which manages and supervises the affairs and business of the association.

HSAS President Karen Wasylenko

They are responsible for the governance and policy development which drives the organization’s business. Collectively, and through the membership via elections of representatives to the Executive Council, HSAS is a diverse, effective, and strong organization with professional groups represented on this governing body. The primary objective of the Executive Council is to put the interests of ALL members first. 
(read more)

Immunize or Mask

It would seem that the controversial “Immunize or Mask” policy has been relegated to optional status for the upcoming 2015-2016 Flu season. On September 8th, 2015 an arbitration decision from an Ontario Nurses Association challenge of a similar policy resulted in an arbitrator deeming the policy to be unreasonable. This set the wheels in motion for HSAS to include this very relevant information in a letter sent to the Ministry of Health requesting our input and feedback regarding Saskatchewan’s version of this punitive policy. 

In this letter our President, Karen Wasylenko emphasized that HSAS expected the Ministry to direct the Health Regions to respect the language of our Collective Agreement regarding this subject and to ensure that they take into consideration the content of the Ontario decision as it pertains to the current policies in place. (read more)

Funds, Scholarships & Awards
HSAS maintains several funds to assist HSAS members and their families. Please click below to learn more about how to apply to each fund, and its requirements.

Education Fund
Emergency Fund
Labour Relations Fund
Silver Anniversary Scholarship
Warren Chykowski Memorial Award
New Provider for Employee Family Assistance Program
Article 25.07 of the HSAS/SAHO Collective Agreement speaks to an Employee /Family Assistance Program (click here).  Effective October 1, 2015, Shepell replaces Homewood Health as the EFAP provider for Saskatchewan healthcare employees.  Below are communications distributed by Shepell announcing their engagement as the new service provider and Q and As which they have provided. 

EFAP Launch Letter

Commonly Asked Questions - EFAP

HSAS Holiday Hours

HSAS offices will be closed as follows:

December 24-25, 2015     CLOSED
January 1, 2016                CLOSED
Senior & Staff Classifications

Should I be classified as Senior or Staff?
Under the HSAS/SAHO collective agreement, in order to qualify for reclassification of your staff position to a senior position, you must meet only one (not all) of the six (6) criteria listed in the Article 21.01 - Classifications.

These six criteria are:

  1. Supervision
  2. Resources
  3. Combined Supervision and Resources
  4. Specialization - Experience
  5. Specialization
  6. Sole Charge

The detailed information pertaining to each of these criteria is found in the Collective Agreement in Article 21.01.

For the purpose of this article let’s focus on the reclassification process itself. What you should know is that the actual requirements of your position are what matter most. While the job description could be outdated or very recently updated, it could either be an accurate reflection or a minimization of your actual duties and responsibilities. Therefore what you do in your specific position, in practical terms (in reality), is what matters most. Each position must be assessed on its own merits and not so much on credentials of the incumbent. Thus, an employee who moves from one position to another does not necessarily carry that previous classification to a new position. (read more)
Mileage Rates
As of October 1, 2015
For travel south of the 54th parallel, the per kilometre Transportation Rate is $0.5010.

For travel north of the 54th parallel, the per kilometre Transportation Rate is $0.5510.

Click here for previous rates.
Market Supplement Update
The first year for the Market Supplement Committee has turned out to be a very busy one. We have put time and much effort into creating a system that will ensure that all members have an equal opportunity to be included in the Market Supplement Program.
Currently all working groups with a Market Supplement are reviewed annually on the anniversary date of their previous report/adjudication decision. The working groups which were not receiving a market supplement did not have a review system in place. These groups will now be reviewed by the HSAS Market Supplement Committee every two years. Once this review is complete, it will be determined by the information gathered, if HSAS should be requesting SAHO to review the group. These reviews will have many steps, one being a member survey.
Member feedback is very important for this process to succeed. Click here to view the schedules for surveys and SAHO report due dates. The first group of surveys went out in October 2015.  To date, the number of members that have responded and the feedback received has been fantastic! Watch your email for your working group's survey! Note: Circumstances may arise which may alter the proposed schedule. 

Outstanding Reports

HSAS appealed SAHO's finding for the EMT/EMT-A groups that no Market Supplement was warranted. We requested that our appeal of SAHO’s findings be heard by the adjudicator.  The adjudicator heard the evidence provided by the HSAS Market Supplement review Committee and agreed with HSAS that a Market Supplement was warranted for these groups. HSAS received an offer from SAHO on November 18, 2015. This offer will be considered at our next meeting on December 14, 2015. Watch your emails for an update following the December 14 meeting.
Upon review of information gathered and available- a decision was made to appeal SAHO's findings for Occupational Therapists which stated that no increase to the existing Market Supplement was warranted. We are currently waiting for a response from SAHO on this group.
The HSAS MS Committee is waiting on reports from SAHO for: Dental Therapists, Physical Therapists, Psychologist Masters and Respiratory Therapists, all of which are overdue.
Click here for a full listing of all Market Supplement Reports by profession.
42nd Annual HSAS Convention attendees

43rd Annual HSAS Convention

HSAS Convention 2015 took place on October 22 and 23 in Regina. The Convention was attended by 48 delegates representing 10 of the twelve health regions.

Convention 2015 began in the afternoon of October 22 with speaker, Marcus Davies of BJC law firm, Saskatoon. Gary Bainbridge of BJC law firm had originally been slated to speak but was not able to attend. Mr. Davies spoke to two timely and relevant issues. The first topic focused on social media and the workplace- considerations and case law. The second topic reviewed the Supreme Court ruling on the Saskatchewan essential services legislation (2008), deemed unconstitutional and the recently proposed replacement legislation.

The second half of Thursday afternoon was Members’ Forum. HSAS Executive Director Dean Job and four of the five Labour Relations Officers addressed a number of topics. They included: little known provisions contained within the collective agreement, review of the range of leaves of absence also contained within the collective agreement, and workplace conflict/harassment. As in previous years, delegates in attendance took advantage of the opportunity to ask questions and obtain clarification. (read more)

HSAS Launches New Website
The HSAS Communications Committee is proud to announce the launch of the new HSAS website. Click here to view the site. 
HSAS Welcomes New Executive Council Members

Your Executive Council welcomed two new members this year at Convention. Please join us in welcoming Tammy Ens and Krishna Vegunta. 

Click here to learn more about your Executive Council.
Tammy Ens, Social Worker, SHR
Representing: Social Workers
Krishna Vegunta, Physical Therapist, RQHR
Representing: Physical Therapists, Exercise and Conditioning Therapists, Orthotists and Prosthetists)
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