MEDIA RELEASE: Minister of Finance’s Shell Game

For Immediate Release – November 30, 2017

Saskatoon – SEIU-West members and leaders will be not be fooled by yesterday’s announcement that the Minister of Finance is stepping back from government’s original 3.5% pay rollback proposal for the 2017-18 fiscal year. What is key to Minister Harpauer’s announcement is that government will persist in their pursuit of rollbacks and cuts in the public sector.

This announcement seems oddly similar to the Premier’s prior announcement that Bill 40 would be repealed and later it was discovered that this wasn’t exactly true as there is still the ability to wind down a crown corporation.

“In our experience with this government, actions do speak louder than words,” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West President. “Our members who work in health care, for example, have received a bargaining update from the SEIU-West bargaining committee yesterday where it is reported that the regressive mandate of government continues to be delivered by the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO) and the health region employers as directed by government.”

“Our members will continue to request meetings with their MLAs; they will continue to send emails and make telephone calls to convey our central message: No Cuts, No Rollbacks, Pay Us What We’re Worth, Treat Us With Respect!” Cape added. “It’s important that each of our MLAs understand that the ongoing action of government to push their regressive mandate at our bargaining tables speaks volumes about the value that government places on our members’ role within the public sector.”

In addition, SEIU-West members continue to face the uncertainties attached to transformational change and the move to one health region next Monday December 4, 2017.

“Patients, residents, and clients deserve quality care,” continued Cape. “The only way to provide that care is to ensure there are people in the positions to perform it and that’s difficult to do with inadequate staffing levels, and retention and recruitment issues that could be solved by investing in health care providers.”

SEIU-West represents more than 13,000 working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They include members who work in health care, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors. They are joined by one colour – purple – and one union – SEIU-West. Purple works in our communities! Visit www.PurpleWorks.ca to find out more about the members of SEIU-West.

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For more information, contact:
Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 306-652-1011 ext. 8733

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