In response to the SEIU-West media release Put Care First: Tough Questions for the Health Minister, Minister of Health, Jim Reiter, stated in the legislature: “that health care providers outside of sort of the nurses and doctor right now are at 98% of the Western Canadian Average” (N.S. Vol. 61, Hansard, No. 16A Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at page 6475).
While we are not certain how the Minister does his math – we do know this:
Based on employer-supplied data from July 2019, the average Combined Lab & X-ray Technologist (CLXT) wage in SK is 88% of the average CLXT in the other 3 western provinces.
In other words, the average SK CLXT makes 12% less per hour than their colleagues in the other three western provinces.
As of July, 2019 – seven full-time vacancies and eight part-time vacancies were reported. One CLXT position in southwestern Saskatchewan was posted over two years ago and remains unfilled.
Look at the numbers – we think it’s fair to say, this group of health care providers is not being compensated at 98% of Minister Reiter’s Western Canadian Average.
CLXTs are vital to the success of quality and safe health care. By performing X-ray exams, Electrocardiograms (ECG) and Holter monitoring, these hard working health care technicians ensure patients receive the best care available. The role of a CLXT is to provide diagnostic tools that the entire health team relies on because they assist in the proper diagnosis and treatment of patients. CLXT’s will procure and analyze specimens, and prepare patients before any lab and x-ray procedures. These members have onerous on-call status as they may be called back to work repeatedly after shift; the inability to provide relief in this classification comes at a cost – in some facilities they contract with Alberta and pay upwards of $50/hour to obtain relief.