“Local health care providers are concerned about the quality of care they can provide, and the quality of health care services citizens are receiving, in the Cypress Hills area, as well as province-wide,” said SEIU-West President Barbara Cape. “At the bargaining table, the Union has been attempting for years to have SAHO and the SaskParty government recognize and attend to growing retention and recruitment issues that are impacting health care. Instead of addressing these issues, SAHO has now walked away from the bargaining table twice. On April 12, we asked the Minister of Health to give this his immediate attention, and unfortunately he appears to be ignoring us, just as MLA Wayne Elhard is ignoring his constituents who work in health care,” Cape stated.
“We want the public to know that shortages of staff will only increase if the SaskParty government remains idle. Our members will move and work in Alberta, or they may decide to take jobs outside the health care sector if they continue to be ignored or treated unfairly by SAHO and the Brad Wall government,” Cape added. “How fair is it when some health care providers are reimbursed in full for their professional and licensing fees but our members receive only a portion of those fees based on 2006 rates? How fair is it that some health care providers receive evening and weekend shift premiums that are more than double what our members receive for working those same shifts? And, how fair is it when our members are paid lower mileage rates than other health care providers while working side-by-side in the same locations? This is simply unfair no matter how you look at it.”
SEIU-West represents approximately eleven thousand (11,000) health care providers working as special care aides, licensed practical nurses, diagnostic and therapeutic technologists, food services workers, laundry, housekeeping and activity personnel, maintenance, sterile processing workers, operating room technologists, maintenance personnel, and administrative and clerical staff, among others in the provincial health care system. In total, there are twenty-five thousand (25,000) health care providers, members of SEIU-West, CUPE and SGEU who are without a collective agreement in Saskatchewan, and who work hard each day to deliver quality health care services to the Saskatchewan residents.