For information regarding COVID-19 see:


Work from Home Survey - from Unifor National - complete by October 4, 2020

Telework Update - September 25, 2020

  • We are writing regarding the Company’s announcement of September 24, 2020, that they are suspending all TeleWork applications. The Company writes they have taken this action because of the policy grievance that was filed on September 3, 2020 by the Union. This grievance is about the Company adding the requirement that an employee must outline measurable performance indicators as part of the approval process. This condition was never negotiated with the Union and we do not believe this is a necessary requirement to determine eligibility. An employees measurable performance indicators do not change just because their work location is at home.

  • This grievance was filed as a last resort because the Company would not deal with the issue when we brought it up in meetings shortly after the new application was introduced. We were left with little choice but to file a grievance to have our concern addressed and as a result the Company has retaliated.

  • Since August the Company has received several hundred applications from its employees applying for TeleWork (even with the performance measures still being on the application and prior to a grievance being filed) and still the Company has denied/approved very few of these applications. We believe many of the applications have been submitted because of concerns about returning to workplace during the pandemic and over the past few months we have repeatedly asked the Company to start dealing with them. We believe many of them could be approved, giving employees some peace of mind. Why the Company feels it has the right to suspend a benefit we have fairly negotiated because of our grievance we do not understand.

  • We have been in contact with the Company to express our disappointment regarding their actions. We have asked that they move 3rd step meeting scheduled for this grievance in mid November to September 30 and they have agreed.

  • Stay tuned for further updates.

In Solidarity, 

Penny and Dave

Telework Update - September 17, 2020

Unifor Local 1-S and 2-S have decided to move forward with individual grievances in regard to Telework denials.

We are reaching out to gather more information.

If you have been denied and want to pursue a grievance, please send us your name, personal email, phone number and mailing address, along with a copy of the denial email and any other correspondence you may have had with your manager or director relating to the Telework application.

In Solidarity, 

Penny and Dave

Telework Update - September 17, 2020

As you know SaskTel has been denying a number of Telework applications for various reasons. On the new TeleWork Application the Company added the requirement that the employee must outline measurable performance indicators as part of the approval process. This additional criteria was never discussed nor negotiated with the Union. Therefore, for the Company to deny an application on this basis is unreasonable.

In response to SaskTel’s actions we have filed a policy grievance on this issue.

Please continue to apply for Telework and get the response in writing. If you are denied, please forward the information to the Union Office so that we may review for possible further action.

In solidarity

Penny and Dave

Telework Update - August 28, 2020

We have had numerous inquiries from the membership regarding the Company’s delay in approving TeleWork applications. During these conversations we have been informed that mangers are saying the Union is holding up the approval process. This is wrong. Any delays are of the Company’s making since this past June when “Appendix XXVIII – TeleWork” was renegotiated. On an almost weekly basis since June we have been telling the Company these delays are unacceptable and they should get moving and seriously consider and approve the applications received. Once the announcement was made to start returning employees to the workplace during the summer, we stepped up our pressure telling the Company needed to start handling these applications because we knew employees would be concerned for their safety and some would want to take advantage of TeleWork to alleviate this concern. The most recent of these conversations took place this week with Industrial Relations.

Our position has not changed, if you are interested in TeleWork apply for it and if your Director denies the application please ask for denial in writing and send to your Local union office for review.

In Solidarity,

Penny and Dave

Telework Update - July 16, 2020

We are writing as a follow up to past communications regarding TeleWork - Appendix XXIX language that was recently updated. We have received a number of concerns from employees that they are being told they cannot apply for TeleWork because there is no an application form available.

When we negotiated the recent changes, the Company did not advise they were going create a form for application or that there would be delays in receiving and approving such requests as a result of this. We have informed the Company this is not acceptable and would consider this as an unreasonable denial. We have informed the Company that employees should be able to apply in the meantime via an e-mail to their Director for approval.

Therefore, if you wish to apply for TeleWork review the new language to ensure that you meet the terms negotiated and e-mail your Director confirming you meet the terms of TeleWork Appendix XXIX. If you are denied, ask for the denial reasons in writing and forward on to the appropriate Local union office for review.

In Solidarity,

Penny and Dave

Telework Update - June 29, 2020

Telework Update - July 16, 2020

We are writing as a follow up to past communications regarding TeleWork - Appendix XXIX language that was recently updated. We have received a number of concerns from employees that they are being told they cannot apply for TeleWork because there is no an application form available.

When we negotiated the recent changes, the Company did not advise they were going create a form for application or that there would be delays in receiving and approving such requests as a result of this. We have informed the Company this is not acceptable and would consider this as an unreasonable denial. We have informed the Company that employees should be able to apply in the meantime via an e-mail to their Director for approval.

Therefore, if you wish to apply for TeleWork review the new language to ensure that you meet the terms negotiated and e-mail your Director confirming you meet the terms of TeleWork Appendix XXIX. If you are denied, ask for the denial reasons in writing and forward on to the appropriate Local union office for review.

In Solidarity,

Penny and Dave


COVID-19 and Telework Update - June 23, 2020

During the pandemic we have had frequent discussions with the Company regarding how they were managing employees, the workplace and temporary measures of working from home. Recently, the focus has changed to bring employees back into SaskTel offices. During these discussion we have raised your concerns, for example, is it too soon, what are the cleaning protocols, what are the elevator protocols, why can’t I continue to work at home and so on to name a few. The Company has the right to manage and determine how the work is done, within the parameters of the Collective Agreement through negotiation with the Local 1S and 2S, Occupational Health and Safety Committees/Legislation and direction of the Provincial Government and Health Authorities. We continue to push the Company to follow a phased approach, to address issues that are raised, ensure the appropriate PPE is available and ensure that those who are vulnerable or have child care issues are provided with alternate arrangements.

If you are concerned about your safety in the workplace as always please bring up with your local manager and/or your local occupational health and safety representative/shop steward. If your concerns do not get addressed please contact your Local 1S/2S office for us to assist and follow up with.

https://www.unifor.org/en/take-action/campaigns/covid-19-information-resources?v=take_action

For those that are interested in continuing to work from home you can apply as per “Appendix XXIX – Telework” of the Collective Agreement. In the past few days we have negotiated new terms to this Appendix with the Company and the updated document is contained below. It is an employee’s choice to apply for this program and it is a temporary assignment that can be cancelled by either the employee or the Company with 120 days’ notice. If you apply for Telework and are denied please ask for the reasons in writing from your manager and forward the reasons on to the Local union office so that we may review the denial with the Company.

In Solidarity,

Penny and Dave

Message from Local 1-S & 2-S Presidents - COVID-19 - April 9, 2020

Good Afternoon Unifor Local 1-S and 2-S members,

We are approaching almost 1 month of the COVID-19. This continues to be a difficult time for all. While most of you are working from home and that brings a whole different basket of changes. We have worked with the Company to expand the Technology Loan program to include office equipment such as desks, chairs foot stools etc. We want to ensure that for those that need a bit of comfort this is available for you.

Unifor Local 1-S and 2-S are working with the Company to get through these difficult times, our conference calls will continue with SaskTel. We are working through the CBA as well as the recommendations provided by the Saskatchewan Government and the Health Authority’s directives regarding this pandemic. As we’ve seen these past weeks, restrictions and direction are changing by the minute and we are working to keep up to date.

While we don’t always agree on everything proposed by our employer, we’re all in this together and Unifor Local 1-S and 2-S will continue to advocate for our members health and safety as this evolves and challenges arise.

We encourage you to have a look on the SaskTel internal website for company related directives, FAQ’s or general information.

Members, please practice physical distancing. The virus does not spread, it is people who spread the virus. Let’s all do our part in flattening the curve to ease the demand on healthcare workers.

While most of us would be celebrating Easter with our families, in this new climate we are all celebrating differently. On behalf of Unifor local 1-S and 2-S we wish you and your family a safe and healthy holiday.

For concerns please email your Chief Steward/Group Rep or Shop Steward.

Addresses can be found on the Local websites:

http://www.uniforlocal1s.ca/

http://www.uniforlocal2s.ca/

In Solidarity,

Penny and Dave


Message from Local 1-S & 2-S Presidents - COVID-19 - April 1, 2020

Good afternoon Unifor Local 1-S and 2-S members,

We are continuing to work through the new temporary norm in our workplaces. People are adjusting to this situation and doing what is necessary to keep working, deal with their family issues and manage their own stress and anxiety related to the uncertainty of this global pandemic. We will continue to be a source of support for you through this time in relation to your workplace.

Unifor Local 1-S and 2-S will continue to work with the Company and our CBA as well as the recommendations provided by the Saskatchewan Government and the Health Authority’s directives regarding this situation. We will continue to provide updated information through our SaskCouncil and local websites.

If you have issues relating to COVID-19 in the workplace, please address them with your manager and/or OH&S Committee, preferably through email. If you require further assistance or escalation after raising your issue, please contact a Union Representative.

We encourage you to have a look on the SaskTel internal website for company related directives, FAQ’s or general information. Please note, a recent Corporate Communication spoke about a Leave of Absence relating to COVID-19 (Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)). You will still have access to all sick leave benefits including Casual Sick Leave (CSL) and Extended Sick Leave (ESL) in addition to the ability under the Canada Labour Code, to take a COVID-19 related unpaid leave for up to 16 weeks, if you are unable or unavailable to work due to COVID-19.

Unifor has developed a section on its National Website dedicated to Covid-19. It contains helpful information regarding the virus and the workplace. Unifor Locals across the country are using this information to assist its members and work with employers. We invite you to refer to it regularly. It is updated continuously as new information becomes available. Here is the link: www.unifor.org/COVID19

Additionally, for employees requiring Child Care information we would direct you to the following topic and link: Information for Workers Associated with the Pandemic Response Who Need Child Care https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/treatment-procedures-and-guidelines/emerging-public-health-issues/2019-novel-coronavirus/information-for-health-care-providers/information-for-workers-associated-with-the-pandemic-response-who-need-child-care

Members, please continue to practice physical distancing. The virus does not spread, it is people who spread the virus. Let’s all do our part in flattening the curve to ease the demand on healthcare workers.

For concerns please email your Chief Steward/Group Rep or Shop Steward.

Addresses can be found on the Local websites:

http://www.uniforlocal1s.ca/

http://www.uniforlocal2s.ca/


In Solidarity,

Penny and Dave


Message from Local 1-S & 2-S Presidents - COVID-19 - March 25, 2020

Good morning Unifor Local 1-S and 2-S members,

We are in some stressful and uncertain times where the unknown and anxiety levels are likely at an all time high. We hope to be a source of support for you through this time in relation to your workplace.

Unifor Local 1-S and 2-S are working with the Company to get through these difficult times. We are working through the CBA as well as the recommendations provided by the Saskatchewan Government and the Health Authority’s directives regarding this situation. As we saw last week, restrictions and direction are changing by the minute and we are working to keep up to date on the latest from all perspectives.

While we don’t always agree on everything proposed by our employer, we’re all in this together and Unifor Local 1-S and 2-S will continue to advocate for our members health and safety as this evolves and challenges arise.

We encourage you to have a look on the SaskTel internal website for company related directives, FAQ’s or general information.

When inquiring with your manager on anything related to this situation, please do so through email. This helps us understand the situation when we escalate it with the company.

Members, please practice physical distancing. The virus does not spread, it is people who spread the virus. Let’s all do our part in flattening the curve to ease the demand on healthcare workers.

For concerns please email your Chief Steward or Group Rep or Shop Steward.

Addresses can be found on the Local websites:

http://www.uniforlocal1s.ca/

http://www.uniforlocal2s.ca/


In Solidarity,

Penny and Dave

Message from Local 1-S & 2-S Presidents - COVID-19 - March 23, 2020

Hello Everyone,

We know many of you have questions regarding the workplace and Covid-19. Your Local Executive has been in repeated contact with the Company looking for answers to issues that come up on a daily basis. We are waiting for these answers and as we get responses we will communicate them out.

If you have concerns over supplies (ie hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, wipes…), work assignments, health issues for yourself or family, safe work assignments, child care, to name a few concerns, please inform the management team in your location. If you are not able to get satisfactory answers to your questions please forwarded them on to your shop steward, Chief-Steward/Group Rep, or Union representative on the Occupational Health and Safety Committee.

Unifor has developed a section on its National Website dedicated to Covid-19. It contains all sorts of helpful information regarding the virus and the workplace. Unifor Locals across the country are using this information to assist its members and work with employers. We invite you to refer to it regularly. It is updated continuously as new information becomes available. One such document is “Frequently asked Questions”, we have attached for your easy reference but please remember this document gets updated as needed. Here is the link:

https://www.unifor.org/en/take-action/campaigns/unifor-covid-19-information-resources?v=take_action

We have received a number of questions regarding refusing unsafe work. Below is a section from the “Frequently asked Questions” document regarding this topic:

Do employees have the right to refuse work if concerned about exposure to COVID-19?

Workers in Canada have the right to a healthy and safe work environment. Health and safety legislation requires employers to take reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of their employees. This may include responding to new and potentially hazardous situations, such as the COVID-19 virus.

In every jurisdiction in Canada, workers have the right to refuse work if they honestly and reasonably believe their health and safety is in danger in their workplaces; if they communicate this belief to their supervisors; and if the seriousness of the perceived danger justifies the work refusal.

Whether a work refusal is justified will largely depend on the facts. The measures that an employer takes to ensure a healthy and safe work environment will be taken into consideration and weighed against the potential risks to workers.

Workers should be cautioned that Tribunals and Arbitration Boards have largely sided with employers when workers have refused work over contagious infection concerns in the workplace. In Hogue-Burzynski v. VIA Rail Canada [2006] (https://www.canada.ca/en/occupational-health-and-safety-tribunal-canada/programs/decisions/archived/2006/ohstc-2006-015.html), four workers refused to work out of concerns that a train had not been cleaned properly following an outbreak of Norwalk virus or a similar illness. The Canada Occupational Health and Safety Tribunal determined that the employer’s efforts to sanitize the train, including disinfecting all hard surfaces and steam cleaning soft surfaces, were reasonably practicable to eliminate and control the risk of further illness.

The steps taken by your employer to limit the spread of COVID-19 will likely factor into whether a work refusal is considered reasonable. Such efforts might include:

• Installing hand sanitizer stations in high-traffic areas;

• Making hand sanitizer available in washrooms;

• Directing cleaning staff to sanitize high traffic surfaces and frequently-touched objects (door knobs, etc.);

• Reducing activities that require physical contact between workers and/or members of the public, if possible; and

• Recommending that employees wash their hands frequently; practice social distancing; and stay home from work if they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.

The nature of your workplace may also factor into whether a work refusal is reasonable. In Hogue-Burzynski v. VIA Rail Canada [2006], the Health and Safety Officer who first investigated the work refusal determined the nature of the employee’s work involved inherent risk to exposure to illness by virtue of the fact that they serviced large numbers of the public on a daily basis. If your workplace regularly requires you to provide services to members of the public, including those who may be ill, or employs a large number of workers at the workplace at the same time, it may be determined that exposure to viral infection is a risk inherent to the workplace.

Your risk of serious complications from COVID-19 may also be relevant to the reasonableness of a work refusal. Health officials have warned that older individuals, those with certain conditions, such as lung or heart disease or individuals with suppressed immune systems are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. It is possible that individuals at greater risk will require heightened accommodation from employers.

---Covid-19 Flatten the Curve – Unifor – March 19, 2020

In Solidarity,

Penny and Dave

Bargaining Update - December 18, 2019 (Grievance)

Grievance Update

The grievance relating to the improper payments of wages and EDO concerns following the strike remains in place as we work through the grievance procedure. The Union and Company are in the process of agreeing to an arbitrator to hear the grievance.


In solidarity,

Your bargaining committees

Bargaining Update - November 15, 2019 (Ratification)

Sisters and Brothers,

We are pleased to announce the SaskTel Collective Agreement has been ratified by the membership.

Ratification votes took place from October 28 to November 14 across the province.

We want to thank members for their support of the bargaining committee and on the line throughout the bargaining process and strike/lockout.


In solidarity,

Your bargaining committees

Bargaining Update - November 7, 2019 (Grievance)

Dear Unifor members,

As you know, upon the return to work following the strike, the company made some decisions regarding EDO’s for members, as well as claw-backs of pay for time worked and a number of other issues all relating to the return to work. We had discussions with the Company to try and resolve these issues. Unfortunately, they do not want to work things out for members at this time.

We have filed a grievance on the issue on October 31st, directly to the 3rd step of the grievance process stating the “the company erroneously interpreted the collective agreement regarding EDO entitlement/compensation for eligible employees upon return to work after strike/lockout.” The settlement desired is “Full redress as deemed appropriate by an arbitrator to any member who has had their Collective Agreement rights violated.”

We will keep you posted as to the progress and any updates to the grievance.


In solidarity,

Your bargaining committees

Return to Work - EDO Information - October 23, 2019

Hi Everyone,

Regarding the pay issues and EDO issues, our National Rep and Local Executive are working with SaskTel to ensure everyone’s pay and time off is accurate.

As we stated, please report to work on Friday.

Please stay tuned for further updates as we work through these issues.

In solidarity

Your Bargaining Committee

Return to Work - EDO Information - October 23, 2019

Hi Everyone

As many of you are aware there is some uncertainty as to whether or not employees should receive their EDO October 25.

The Company has taken a position, that employees do not get an EDO on October 25. Needless to say, the Union is very disappointed with this decision and position the Company has taken. We have had conference calls and discussion with them over the last day to no avail.

We have had many reports from members who are upset after hearing this information and it appears to be having a negative impact on moral. This is a disappointing position for the Company to take on the first day back from a 17-day strike.

We are following up with our legal team as to what options are available.

As it stands right now please report to work on Friday.


In solidarity

Your Bargaining Committee