SEIU-West In the News

Letter to the Editor: Struggling with the lack of empathy

Written by SEIU-West member Lois Camacho, published in the Star Phoenix on April 11, 2017.

Struggling with the lack of empathy

Anyone else lost all confidence in our provincial government? Families and workers are getting hit from all sides due to the recent overwhelming provincial budget cuts to service and tax hikes. We are losing good jobs in many communities at the hand of our government. One MLA was quoted as saying ‘we have too many libraries.’ Government’s disrespect for higher learning is further demonstrated by cuts to funding in both K-12 education and our universities. Families who have children with special needs are losing much-needed resources (that we previously thought were scarce) and seniors have been hit hard with a loss of services like the STC and a huge increase in costs for long term care.

It is worrisome that our government is so uncaring about the people who put them in their MLA seats. It is troubling that our new one provincial health region model will give added control to the Minister of Health and cabinet. This means that communities will lose more services, our costs out-of-pocket will grow as our government focuses upon off-loading their responsibility to the people in favour of higher cost private-for-profit options.

As a health care provider, what concerns me most is how all of these changes will affect our patients, residents and clients. I am devastated by the lack of empathy and concern our government has displayed to the people of Saskatchewan. As a health care provider, my job is to care, but I feel more and more that I am being pushed not to care. They can’t have it both ways. It really feels they are taking us giant steps backward.

To view the Star Phoenix article, click here.

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Photo gallery: Citizens stand against province

Protestors from all industries joined forces over the noon hour to protest the closure of Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC), to stop Bill 40 and to stop the cuts that were announced in the recent Saskatchewan Party provincial budget. Several community leaders took to the mic to address the crowd, including Barbara Byers, Canadian Labour Congress’ Secretary-Treasurer; Barbara Cape, SEIU-West President…

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Concerns over cuts in provincial budget grow louder for Sask. residents

SEIU president Barbara Cape said there’s concern over a 6.7 per cent cut to Saskatchewan’s education budget, along with the amalgamation of province’s 12 health regions to a single authority…

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Unions propose single bargaining structure for health care workers

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Letter to the Editor: Comments from a Health Care Worker

Written by SEIU-West member Judy Denniss, published in the Star Phoenix on March 29, 2017.

I’m a health care worker who assists with important medical procedures daily and a proud SEIU-West member who has participated in the bargaining process. When both sides come together with a shared commitment to patients and families, bargaining runs smoothly and everyone wins. However, when government meddles in our bargaining, the process falls apart and everyone loses: workers, managers, patients, and the health system. I learned this firsthand in 2008, when the Sask. Party passed a law to rig the outcome of negotiations. Ironically, most employees (all full-time, part-time and many casuals) were deemed ‘essential.’ That law was later struck down by the Supreme Court because it was unconstitutional.

In 2017, the government is at it again. Just as health care bargaining (involving everyone from continuing care assistants to lab technologists to housekeeping and dietary staff, among others) is getting started, the government has announced that health care workers will have to take a 3.5 per cent pay cut and forced days off without pay. Government no longer views us as essential; now we are disposable.

Yet in Saskatchewan health care, our hospitals and long-term care homes don’t have enough staff to provide safe, quality care. This problem will be made worse by pay cuts and forced days off. As for wait lists, I know that fewer procedures will get done if we have no staff to assist.

Let’s take a different approach and quit the attack on workers. Instead, let’s look closely at what happened during the boom and undo some of those tax loopholes to the benefit of corporations so that they can begin to pay their fair share.

To view the Star Phoenix article, click here.

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SEIU-West supports new domestic violence bill

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Letter to the Editor: Transformational change in health care

Written by SEIU-West member Colleen Denniss, published in the Star Phoenix on March 9, 2017.

Aren’t you concerned about the move to one big health region and how it will affect the citizens of Saskatchewan? It seems as if we are always fighting to maintain public services in rural Saskatchewan. We often feel that our voices are not heard. We face the same health issues as those who live in cities but we have to travel further in order to access needed services.

How is our government going to ensure that this mega health region will be able to respond to the needs of residents equitably? Taking decision-making abilities away from local Health Regions will further stifle the voices of our rural communities. Centralizing services means that we travel further to receive care when services are offered only in larger communities. This is the experience of many who live in my home town of Rosetown. It truly makes me wonder if this is an effort, once again, to simply quiet the small players while offering them less.

Health care providers question a move in this direction — what we really need in health care is more front line staff to deliver quality care. The administrative cost that will be spent on changing letterhead and re-jigging the management structure of new service models would obviously be better spent on serving the needs of our residents, clients and patients by investing in safe staff levels to provide care. When decisions are made without proper consultation with the people who live in our community, valued public service is destined to fail.

To view the Star Phoenix article, click here.

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NEW: SEIU-West TV Ads!

SEIU-West has recently undertaken a refresh on our radio, TV and billboard ads!

It is our goal to promote SEIU-West and our members’ work in the delivery of quality public services. Through these ads, we want the public to understand our concerns about safe staffing levels and to join our fight to stop our government’s continued efforts to remove valuable services out of our public health care system.youtubecommericia

For an immediate way to see our new TV ads, visit our SEIU-West YouTube Channel! Or click here for the Jenga ad, and here for the Karate ad!

Keep an ear out for ads on Goldenwest (in Swift Current and Moose Jaw) and Saskatoon Media Group (in Saskatoon) stations. Watch for our “Karate” and “Jenga” ads on Global and CTV. karateAnd look for our bold purple billboards in and around communities across the province. Let us know what you think with a quick email to christine.miller@seiuwest.ca.

We are Stronger Together!

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Hundreds rally at Saskatchewan legislature against public sector wage cuts

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Hundreds rally at Saskatchewan legislature against public sector wage cuts

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