Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan (PAS) Conference May 3-5: Apply Now

At this link, please find preliminary information regarding the PAS Conference being held at Elkridge Resort, Waskesiu, Saskatchewan on May 3-5, 2019. The Education Committee will be sponsoring up to two (2) delegates to attend. We will cover registration costs, lost wages, travel costs, hotel costs and meal expenses for those who are selected to attend.  If you are a member of the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals, you are eligible to apply. If you are not, please share with any of our licensed Pharmacy Technician members who regulated by the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals and leave a copy of this information in the Pharmacy DepartmentLike us on Facebook and visit our website as we will update more information on this conference as it becomes available.

Anyone interested in attending this conference is asked to:

Your completed Form must be received in our office on or before, March 22, 2019 in order to allow us to complete the registration and selection process. 

Forward your completed form to:

Colleen Denniss & Brenda Coben, Co-Chairs, Education Committee

#200 – 747 46th Street W, Saskatoon, SK S7L 6A1

Fax:  306-652-1392

Delegates attending the conference will be asked to submit a brief report to the SEIU-West Executive Board through the Education Committee Chairs following the completion of the event. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this regard.

The SEIU-West YWC Challenge: Talk Mental Health!

The SEIU-West Young Workers Committee (YWC) understands that everyone knows someone who lives with or is affected by mental illness. The YWC also recognizes it is important to talk about mental health in order to break down the stigma around mental illness. That’s why they’re supporting the Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 30. This initiative is meant to spark a public conversation about mental illness, and encourage funding for mental health services.

In recognition of Bell Let’s Talk Day, the YWC is launching a contest in order to help spread awareness around mental health. The YWC wants to support the hardworking members of SEIU-West and knows many people find it good for their mental health to go relax and see a movie – so by entering you could win a $50 gift card to your local movie theatre!

How to enter: take a picture of yourself with a sign talking about mental health to support Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 30, then send the picture to [email protected]. The picture could be about your experiences with mental health, what mental health means to you, what services we need, or a supportive message – it’s up to you! To start us off, we have Brittney, YWC member, demonstrating that mental illness is not something to be ashamed of.

Together we can stop the stigma and increase support for strong mental health services!

Please send your pictures to [email protected] on Wednesday, January 30.

Young Workers Present: Shining A Light On…Domestic Violence

The SEIU-West Young Workers Committee (YWC) is shining a light on issues that often get pushed into the shadows and aims to break down stigma associated with important issues in our communities by interviewing experts in the field. In the last installment, the YWC shone a light on mental health. In this issue, YWC member Brittney interviews Andrea Howe from the United Way of Saskatoon about domestic violence.

Q: Why is there stigma associated with Domestic Violence (DV)?

A: Some reasons why stigma is often associated with DV are because individuals either do not understand the issue; are not educated about the issue; and/or believe it is a private issue.

Q: How does the stigma affect someone who is seeking help?

Some reasons why stigma could deter a woman from seeking help are she may be ashamed; be fearful about being judged; be afraid to be on her own; be afraid of losing her job; and/or not know what resources or supports are available to her.

Q: How do you help someone who discloses at work that they are a victim of Domestic Violence?

Your role is to show concern and offer support. Do not try to “fix” the situation. Below is a list of ways to assist if a co-worker discloses that she is a victim of DV:

  • Tell her you believe her and will support her
  • Suggest speaking with a union staff rep to talk about supports available
  • Be prepared with information about where to find help at work and in the community
  • Ensure she is included in all the decision-making and respect her decisions – even if you do not agree with her choices  

How can SEIU-West members help de-stigmatize DV?

SEIU-West members can help by:

  • Completing the two-day DV training offered by SEIU-West. Your union is the first union in Saskatchewan who has offered the two-day training to its members because this issue is important! Encourage other members to take the training too.
  • Starting the conversation – at work; at the kitchen table; at the gym – the more we talk about this issue, the less stigma will be attached to it
  • Continuing to advocate and lobby for better legislation for DV protections and entitlements
  • Bargaining for DV leave and supports into your collective agreement

SEIU-West 2018: Year in Review

Throughout 2018, SEIU-West members stood up for what they believe in and took action on issues that matter to our communities. SEIU-West members have joined together to face challenges head-on. We learned from one another, and empowered one another to be leaders. We formed strong and lasting bonds with each other, and also had fun as we collectively stood up for what we believe in. SEIU-West is comprised of some incredible people, and therefore incredible memories – together, let’s take a look back on some of these memorable moments of 2018 - click here to download the pdf of our 2018 Year in Review, or use the arrows in the bottom right corner of the report below to expand the document! 

Young Workers Present: Shining A Light On…Mental Health

Shining A Light On…Mental Health

By Brittney Servetnyk, Young Worker Committee Member and CMHA Saskatoon Branch

The SEIU-West Young Workers Committee (YWC) is aiming to shine a light on issues that often get pushed into the shadows – in the last installment, the YWC shone a light on service animals and people with disabilities – in this article, the YWC interviewed staff at the Canadian Mental Health Association who share their insight on mental health, stigma, and suicide as we recognize September as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

Q: Why is there a stigma with mental health? How does it affect a person with mental health?

A: There is stigma associated with mental health problems because of a lack of understanding and information.  Society perceives individuals with mental health problems in a negative manner as a result of the common misconceptions that are often portrayed in the media.

Stigma leaves an individual feeling unable to talk about what they are experiencing because of overwhelming shame, embarrassment, and fear of being rejected. These assumptions made about individual’s living with a mental health problem restrict them from opportunities including basic needs such as housing, nutrition, socialization, financial stability and participating in further education and/or the workforce.

Q: How can mental health education help break the stigma?

A: Mental Health education allows us to change the perceptions and assumptions made about individuals experiencing mental health problems.  It assists in the normalization of mental health so that individuals who are struggling feel like they can talk about it and gain the support they need.  It is important to understand and know how to address mental health so that we can support others as well as take care of our own mental health needs.   

Q: Where can a person reach out for help?

A: If an individual believes they are struggling with their mental health their first step could be to talk to their family doctor, to explore their symptoms or concerns further.  That individual could also ask their doctor for a referral to a psychiatrist who can provide a diagnosis and treatment options.  Other options include therapeutic counselling, community support groups, or physical activity.  However, anytime an individual has questions about mental health, resources or how to support a loved one they can always contact any Canadian Mental Health Association branch.   

Q: Research shows rural and northern communities have higher suicide rates, how do we help address this crisis as a province?

A: It is true that individuals living in rural and northern communities face multiple barriers in accessing mental health services due to their geographical location and as a result are subjected to high rates of isolation.  In particular, individuals struggling with mental health problems in rural areas are unable to access psychiatric care, to provide assessment of symptoms and treatment options.  An alternative to this in rural areas could be additional training for resources already established within the community. For example, social workers who have the required experience and education can now apply to receive an authorized practice endorsement, which allows them to provide an official diagnosis for individuals experiencing mental health problems. Some other alternatives to addressing mental health in the rural areas could include having multidisciplinary teams, collaborative community networks, peer support and telemedicine.

Q: How can we the YWC and all SEIU-West members help?

A: SEIU-West can help spread awareness by talking about it, implementing healthy workplace strategies and taking the initiative to take care of your own mental health. More specifically, in my experiences in the workplace, I have seen a need for education and training to implement healthy workplaces strategies.  Providing adequate training and education options such as Mental Health First Aid or the Psychological Health and Safety Standard for the select staff or support people is essential to best address mental health in the workplace.

SEIU-West is taking action on mental health awareness by incorporating it into our union training sessions such as Unionism in Practice, Duty to Accommodate, Facing Management Level II, our Domestic Violence Workshops and our upcoming OH&S course. We have also sponsored members to attend Mental Health First Aid. For more information, please contact [email protected].


Celebrate Nursing Week – It’s Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) Day!

By Barb Cape, President – SEIU-West

Happy National Nursing Week!! SEIU-West is so proud of its members who work in nursing teams – this week serves as an opportunity to show our gratitude, and to also share important information around the vital work they do. To start the week, I want to begin by highlighting Licensed Practical Nurses (stay tuned for Continuing Care Assistants’ Day, later this week!)

Recently, I had a very interesting conversation with a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) who is a member of SEIU-West in Saskatoon. She was upset about the ongoing struggle between the Registered Nurses and members of SUN, and their regulatory body, the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association (SRNA). She said, “Today is a sad day for regulation in Saskatchewan”. And while we in health care pay attention to these issues, what is this really about? 

Recently, the Ministry of Health approved the new set of bylaws that govern the Licensed Practical Nurse scope of practice under which LPNs can safely work. The bylaws were intended to provide role clarity as they describe quite specifically the work that is done by LPNs daily based on their competencies. As well, the LPN education program created and delivered by SASK Polytech has expanded to encompass some additional duties and practices. The new bylaws reflect these added education pieces. This process is no different from that of every other regulated profession, as they seek to remain up-to-date. For example, LPNs, Doctors, RNs, technologists, and pharmacists are all required to take continuing education credits to ensure that they remain current in their profession. It’s a great idea and even though I’m not in a regulated profession, I think lifelong learning and staying up to speed on my profession (Chef) is a brilliant idea.

But that’s part of the problem: SRNA and others are arguing that these skills are not a part of a LPNs ‘foundational’ education (aka their original course). But that’s a red herring because regulated professions add to their body of knowledge via their educational program. Additional courses and skill upgrades are regularly offered to all professions – regardless of who they are in health care. Lawyers do it. Accountants do it. And RNs do it…so why not LPNs? These courses or programs might be offered on-line, or via an employer, or through Sask Polytech… but they all must be a recognized and vetted course in order for it to count towards improving one’s skills.

There is a claim that LPNs are working outside of their scope and putting patients at risk. I have said this before and will say this again: PROVE IT! And if you know of someone working outside of their scope, contact SALPN immediately! It’s not ok once or twice; it’s not ok if no one is looking – it is not OK! But that being said, I have yet to find any evidence of LPNs putting their patients at risk by working outside of the LPN scope of practice. If the true issue is a lack of acceptance of the expanded education, skill and competencies of LPNs – that’s just goofy. There is a role for every health care profession in advancing the model of care Saskatchewan residents deserve. There is no role for professional jealousies.

As our LPN member who works in an Operating Room, she said: “…I love my job. I love going to work every day and I feel honored to help people during one of the scariest times in their lives. I took the same peri-op program as my RN counterparts and was partnered for group assignments with a RN. I was the sole LPN in a group with five RNs… we wrote the same exams, assignments and research papers. I feel strongly that my education prepared me to serve in my role. I feel strongly that the public should be able to have confidence in me when I come to walk them into the operating room. I am good at what I do.”

Click to enlarge.

The public needs to know that the work of EVERYONE on the health care team is valued. From maintenance, to administration, to front-line nursing, to support services, and everything in between. There are some jobs that I can’t and shouldn’t do, because I am a cook; just as there are some duties that a LPN can’t and shouldn’t do because it’s outside of the scope of practice for a LPN. There really is a role for all members of the nursing team including the RN, the LPN and the CCA.

As we celebrate Nursing week, I ask you to remember this: everyone has skills to bring to our health care system. We cannot operate in silos; we cannot eliminate any one player on our health care team and we all know how to improve our health care system… let’s remember that this week. Let’s work together to build strong nursing teams – to do this we must stop the ongoing attacks against all members of our nursing teams, recognize and value the professional skills offered by each and create pride and respect for our diverse roles.

Other Resources:

To enter the Nursing Week Contest, click here.

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