By Karman Kawchuk, Research Officer
It’s been a busy summer for briefs and submissions at SEIU-West. No, we’re not talking about purple underwear, or “tap outs” in mixed martial arts. We’re talking about documents prepared by SEIU-West which are presented to government to support our members’ interests and needs.
Sometimes governments reach out to SEIU-West for feedback on an issue. Sometimes they invite any interested individual or group for feedback. Sometimes, we find out that a government is planning changes but not planning to consult, so we have to elbow our way to the table with a submission.
In any case, if we believe an issue is important to our members, families, and communities, we will prepare a submission. We do our best to ensure that our submissions are up to date, constructive, and based on solid research and consultation with our most affected members.
During July 2017 your Union delivered four submissions to the Saskatchewan government:
- July 5: a letter to the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety’s (MLRWS’s) consultation process on the governance structure and appeal process of the Workers Compensation Board (WCB). We said that the number of Board members should be increased to ensure that workers’ appeals of WCB decisions are decided without delay.
- July 19: written feedback to the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association on their “Standards and Competencies for the RN with Additional Authorized Practice” document. We said that in our view, the health care system works best for patients and families when all members of the health care team are encouraged and supported to work to their full scope of practice, not just RNs. This all needs to occur in an environment of mutual respect and acceptance.
- July 20: a brief to MLRWS’s consultation process on interpersonal violence (IPV) and its impact in the workplace. Our recommendations included requiring employers to give paid leave to employees experiencing IPV.
- July 31: a brief to MOH’s stakeholder consultation process on emergency medical services (EMS). We said that EMS relies too much on underpaid casual employees to fill gaps, especially in rural areas. All parties must work together to make rural ambulance service a more attractive career opportunity and a viable, accessible resource.
Our work on briefs and submissions didn’t end there. On July 20 we were invited by the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Working Group of MOH’s Transition Team to share our views on how laboratory services should be organized and delivered under the new Saskatchewan Health Authority. We have been working on this submission.
To read our submissions, go to our website and hover over the word ‘Campaigns’ in the top menu to reveal the new ‘Papers and Research’ sub-menu.