Our Union’s broad membership sees many different challenges, including underfunding of public services, short-staffing, and threats of privatization. We continue to push back against these challenges so that our members can continue to provide quality services to the highest standards of professionalism. How do we push back? With broad-based campaigns that incorporate all of our members and our solidarity within the labour movement.
The most recent challenge to our membership comes in the form of a provincial security services review announced by the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA). This raised our alarm bells particularly because the consultant hired to do the review has a history of privatizing hospital security services in Alberta and Ontario. So SEIU-West has launched a campaign for public security services in health care.
This review matters for all of our members, because privatizing of public services has become a growing trend, not only within health care but across the broader public sector.
At their very core, private services are focused on delivering returns to shareholders. The short-term, profit-driven component of their business model too often means cuts in the number of staff and the quality of service.
In the public sector, the shareholders are the people of the province--the patients, residents, clients, families and communities that our members serve every day with the utmost professionalism, compassion, and fairness. When you look at the long-term and the big picture, the overall value of public services simply cannot be beat by a private service provider.
All of us who work within the public sector understand that we are part of a community and part of a team, and that teamwork is required to make public services successful. Using our different classifications and skills, we combine our talents to ensure the best possible outcome for the public. We also know the impact when one essential piece of the team is missing.
I ask you to support this campaign against privatization of security services, not only for security officers, but for the entire team that provides quality public services across the province. Changes within the sectors we represent are a daily part of our work, but these changes need to be thoughtful, based on best practices and include those who do the actual work.
The evidence is clear: skilled, professional public services matter for the people of Saskatchewan. Let’s work together to share our voice in defending public health care.
Barbara Cape, President