Tag Archives: Workers Compensation Act

Day of Mourning Quiz for SEIU-West Members

The National Day of Mourning was established in Canada and is recognized in over 80 countries. April 28th is the day that workers and unions mourn for the dead and fight for the living. On this day, we find inspiration to intensify our efforts to keep workers both safe and healthy.

Unfortunately, just observing this day does not make Canadian workplaces any safer. Approximately 1,000 workers die each year because of workplace injuries or illnesses in Canada.canary-in-birdcage

Successive governments have pledged their support to workers and their unions. Over the past several decades, they have announced new workplace health and safety laws and regulations — some of the best in the world. Regrettably, the resources needed to enforce those laws have not always been provided.

In Saskatchewan, we can proudly say we were the first province to have Occupational Health and Safety Legislation and we are the home of the three workers’ rights (outlined in the “Safety Tip” to the right). Sadly, we still have the need to fight to keep these rights.

The health care industry, which includes group home workers, has the highest rate of WCB injury claims – more than any other industry in the Province!

Your SEIU West Worker Safety Committee asks you to recognize this important day. Please watch for posters and notice of Day of Mourning events in your community, or check with your local Labour Council. If you have something planned in your area please let us know. 

Based on the information provided in this post and this downloadable Day of Mourning Poster, SEIU-West members are asked to fill out the Day of Mourning Quiz 2014 and return it to Christine Miller by fax (306-652-1392) or by email (christine.miller@seiuwest.ca) on or before Monday April 28, 2014 to be entered into a draw for some fantastic prizes!

 

Related documents:

Day of Mourning Poster

Day of Mourning Quiz 2014

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Letter to Don Morgan Re: Summary Offence Ticketing

SEIU-West shares a mutual interest with government in the improvement of workplace safety. In our opinion, all parties will achieve maximum effectiveness (improved safety; reduced injury or occupational illness), if the program initiated is anchored in the principle of…

Read the full letter by clicking on the PDF link below:

May 9, 2013: Letter to Minister Morgan re: Summary Offence Ticketing

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Media Release: SEIU-West Members Target Safe Staffing Levels

September 10, 2012 For Immediate Release

Saskatoon – SEIU-West members employed in the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) are concerned that the ‘same old strategy’ is being used by the health region to slash their deficit.

“SHR uses the term ‘vacancy management’,” says Judy Denniss a Licensed Practical Nurse within SHR. “But what this means in the real world experience is that they keep much needed positions vacant which results in hospitals and nursing homes working short staffed on a regular basis. This does not align with the pledge SHR made to have the right person at the right time, to provide the right service to the client, patient or resident.”

SEIU members who work as part of the health care team want to improve the quality of publicly-delivered health care services and reduce waiting times through the design and use of efficient and timely processes, not through the reduction or elimination of those services.

“Our members perform a valued and proud service to clients, patients and residents in this region,” states Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “We have been consistent in our identification of the problems, including real life examples, of inadequate staffing levels and unsafe workloads which ultimately impact the quality of care provided to the people of Saskatchewan.”

The latest 2011 stats from the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) indicate that there are 5,060 reported injuries in the healthcare system. 1,800 of these injuries are incurred by staff who are involved in ‘Assisting Occupations’, which includes the lift, transfer and repositioning of patients, clients and residents. In 2011 alone, 504 back injuries and 214 shoulder injuries were reported.

“SEIU-West has received more than 400 examples of shifts worked by our members with insufficient staffing levels in SHR this year alone. Cutting staffing levels magnifies the problem of injuries and lost time in the sector,” continued Cape. “It is clear that deficit reduction cannot and should not come at the expense of the safety of the staff or the patients, clients and residents.”

SEIU-West acknowledges the difficulty in recruiting and retaining skilled and experienced healthcare professional and has stepped up its own efforts to attract people to work in health care, including attending career fairs.

SEIU-West represents approximately eleven thousand health care providers in the province of Saskatchewan. They include special care aides, licensed practical nurses, diagnostic and therapeutic technologists, food service workers, laundry, housekeeping and activity personnel, maintenance, sterile processing workers, and administrative staff, among others.

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For more information, contact:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator

Phone: 306.652.1011 ext. 2250

 

For a PDF version of this release, click on the link below:

Media Release: SEIU-West Members Target Safe Staffing Levels

 

 

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Just the Facts: Summary Offence Ticketing (SOTs)

Are you aware that the Provincial Government is planning some major changes to the way that safety legislation is enforced in Saskatchewan?

With these changes, there is a very real chance that you could be subject to a large fine if proper safety protocols or procedures are not followed in your workplace.

Effective immediately, the Union is advising all members to carefully observe and follow all safety requirements.

These include:

  • wearing personal protective equipment (gowns, gloves, masks, proper footwear);
  • using patient lifts and following TLR; and
  • following all safety rules, even if they have not been enforced in the past.

In other Provinces where they have issued these tickets, the fines to workers are as high as $295.00. Worse yet, if you are named a “repeat offender” the fines can be even higher. The only way to fight a ticket is through the costly court system…at your own expense!

A Special Message to all IN-SCOPE SUPERVISORS:

If you are responsible to supervise others, you may be issued a ticket in addition to them. In Ontario, almost every time a worker is fined, the supervisor gets a ticket as well and 73% of all tickets issued have gone to workers or supervisors.

WHAT IS SEIU-West DOING?

SEIU-West has sent our submission to the Minister of Labour Relations & Workplace Safety asking him to reconsider this punitive measure. A copy of this is posted on our website: visit www.seiuwest.ca and review the Worker Safety Committee page. We have also asked your employer to partner with us so as to ensure that all workers receive clear communication. We have asked for the appropriate contact info for all SEIU-West representatives on Occupational Health and Safety Committees to facilitate our greater communication with the membership.

We will be updating our website as we obtain more details.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

  • Write, call or email the Minister and tell him this is unfair. Tell him that workers should not be bear the personal blame and cost of unsafe staffing levels and a lack of resources in the form of equipment and training.  Contact your MLA as well.
Minister of Labour Relations & Workplace Safety
Mr. Don Morgan (MLA, Saskatoon Southeast)
Phone: 955-4755 (Constituency Office) or
call collect @ 787-5353 (Legislative Assembly)
Email: dmorgan@mla.legassembly.sk.ca and cc your union

Follow all safety rules!

  • Never lift a patient alone or violate TLR. If there are unsafe staffing levels, advise your Manager that you require assistance as soon as possible.  Please complete a Workload Tracking Form and return it to your local union office.  Most importantly, continue to report all injuries and incidents as usual.

Tell your co-workers about this notice.

  • Support each other when taking the time to do your job safely.  Call your Union immediately if you receive any negative feedback from management or co-workers for taking the time to do your job according to safety procedures.

PLEASE remember:

All workers have:

  • The right to know the safety hazards at work – the precautions needed to reduce or eliminate the hazards – all safety training; and
  • The right to participate in the day to day detection, evaluation and reduction of workplace hazards – on your committee, as elected by your peers or appointed by your trade union; and
  • The right to refuse unsafe or unusually dangerous work without fear of repercussions.

For a printable PDF version of this post, click on the link below:

Just the Facts: Summary Offence Ticketing (SOT’s)

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Submission to Government: Worker Safety – Summary Offence Ticketing

“…It is our understanding that the Saskatchewan government is contemplating the introduction of Summary Offence Ticketing (SOT) as a measure to enforce The Occupational Health & Safety Act and Regulations in all workplaces, While we do promote and support safe and healthy workplaces, it is our position that there are many causal factors related to unsafe work environments, A proactive approach should include enforcement measures involving the proper investigation of such factors with all parties working towards a heightened level of awareness and a resolve…”

To read the full letter and submission, click on the links below:

Letter to Don Morgan re: Summary Offence Ticketing May 1, 2012

Summary Offence Ticketing Submission May 1, 2012

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National Day of Mourning – Regina

For workers killed or injured on the job…

Please join the Regina & District Labour Council (HDLC) in a ceremony of remembrance.

Click on the link below for the poster:

National Day of Mourning Poster Regina 2012

Contact:
Susan Butson

Want to post this on your Union board? Click on the link below for a printable colour version of the poster:

Day of Mourning Events Saskatchewan

Regina
Saturday, April 28 at 1:30 p.m.

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National Day of Mourning – Weyburn

For workers killed or injured on the job…

Please join the Weyburn & District Labour Council (HDLC) in a ceremony of remembrance.

Contact: Wanda Bartlett

Want to post this on your Union board? Click on the link below for a printable colour version of the poster:

Day of Mourning Events Saskatchewan

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National Day of Mourning – Yorkton

For workers killed or injured on the job…

Please join the Yorkton & District Labour Council (HDLC) in a ceremony of remembrance.

Contact: Maryann Federko

Want to post this on your Union board? Click on the link below for a printable colour version of the poster:

Day of Mourning Events Saskatchewan

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President’s Message: Day of Mourning

Day of Mourning

Click here to download the poster

When we look around our workplaces and think about those who have suffered a workplace injury, illness or death, it’s important for us to reflect on the impact to that person, but also to their family, our workplaces and communities.  

 

‘An injury to one is an injury to all’ is not just a slogan, nor is it only about ‘injuries’ – but it means that we must work together to improve the quality and safety of our work and workplaces so that we come home to our families safe, and alive.

Take time on April 28 to think about workplace safety and our co-workers; think about the supports in place to help people transition from an injury; and think about joining your Occupational Health and Safety Committee.

If you want more information about the Day of Mourning, the Worker Safety Committee have come up with the following items for you to use in your workplace (the items will be linked):

–          Day of Mourning Poster 2012

–          Why a Canary

–          Safety Hot Topic: Day of Mourning

If you want to head out to a ceremony, there are many events across the province.

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) has also issued a statement and poster to mark the day.

Remember, our work is not done, we need to continually improve our workplaces and not rest on the achievements from the past.

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Canadian Labour Congress: Day of Mourning Statement 2012

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Nova Scotia Westray mine disaster, where an underground methane explosion took the lives of 26 workers. Since then, the labour movement worked for parliament to pass legislation, the so-called Westray bill, which amended the Criminal Code of Canada in order to hold employers, who failed to take steps to protect the lives of their employees, criminally liable. The Westray bill provided a new regime outlining the framework of corporate liability in Canada.

In the nine years since the Westray bill amendments and corporate manslaughter law came into effect, only two provinces have laid charges under the criminal code. If the provinces and territories were using the Westray legislation as intended, we could make significant inroads at protecting workers health and safety and we could save lives.

Tragically, thousands of workers, every year, have their life changed because of a major injury while hundreds more lose their life because of their work. No job is worth dying for, yet 1,014 people lost their lives in 2010, the most recent year for which we have statistics. These are not accidents, they can be prevented. It’s important to remember that Canada still has one of the highest rates of workplace deaths in the industrialized world, and even one death is still one too many.

Nothing can bring back those who have died, but a message has to be sent that cutting corners on health and safety and employees being killed is not acceptable. If and when an employer willfully neglects health and safety, knowing that someone can be injured or killed – they should be held criminally responsible. Corporations and their representatives need to be held accountable. As workers, we need to pressure our governments to use the Westray legislation as intended.

Today should not be the day another worker dies at work.

For a printable version of this statement, click on the link below:

Canadian Labour Congress Day of Mourning Statement 2012

For the companion poster, click on the link below – there is an English and a French version of the poster:

Canadian Labour Congress Day of Mourning Poster

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