The Health Care Provider Unions have discussed strategies for fair and equitable recognition pay for members of the health care team who are demonstrating dedicated service during COVID19 which involves personal risk and sacrifice. This letter was sent to Premier Moe by the Unions today.
May 4, 2020
Honourable Scott Moe
Premier of Saskatchewan
226 Legislative Building
CANADA S4S 0B3
Dear Mr. Premier,
We write to you on behalf of the front line health care providers who have been at the forefront of the work being done to flatten the curve of infection with the COVID-19 pandemic. They have displayed an incredible amount of professionalism and courage in continuing the day to day work in this battle that benefits all Saskatchewan residents. Many have called them ‘heroes’, but we know they are heroes every day, not only during this pandemic.
In Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta, provincial governments have deemed additional pay for those working in acute care, long term care, personal care homes, community and home care. For the anxiety and stress; for the personal sacrifice they make daily to reduce the risk of COVID at work and home; for the extra work and long, hot hours to ensure the safety of our patients, clients, residents and staff; for the lack of information and the ever changing policy directives; for being there to care, to serve, when visitors and family are not able. There is an incredibly diverse group of people who are keeping health care running and ensuring that we are not overwhelmed by the pandemic.
Mr. Premier, you have acknowledged these health care providers in your provincial address. Today we ask you to step forward to lead again. As we reopen the province, we cannot ignore the work that has happened, and continues to happen to keep the province safe. For all health care providers, we ask that you acknowledge this incredible team with ‘recognition pay’ or a wage top up.
- Medical and Diagnostic Technologists and assistants complete tests that identify not only COVID-19 but other diseases and pathogens that are still affecting our population: cancer, HIV, MRI, CT, and seasonal flu are among their tests.
- Licensed Practical Nurses provide dressing changes, dispense medications, work in operating rooms and emergency rooms, long-term care and home care to provide compassionate hands-on skilled care to our patients, clients and residents.
- Continuing Care Assistants work in acute care, long term care, and home care providing hands on services like dressing, bathing, medications, lifting and repositioning with care and compassion.
- Recreation and Physical Therapy who continually work to lift up the spirits of residents and give them some much needed distraction as well as something to look forward to each day.
- Security, maintenance, tradespeople and Information Technologists continue to keep our facilities running efficiently, to set up COVID units in hospitals across the province and keeping staff and patients safe.
- Food services prepare and provide nutritious meals to patients, long-term care residents and homecare recipients.
- Environmental services staff perform enhanced cleaning to ensure that our facilities do not harbor and are not a vector for transmission of any virus.
- Administration staff keep every part of the health system connected and communicating which is critically important at this time – this includes ward and department support, payroll, finance, health information, and schedulers who work in acute care, long-term care, home care, community care and primary care to ensure that our facilities are staffed and paid properly to provide the skilled professional care that is key to all health care services.
- Of particular note are those working in supply chain, materials management, and sterile processing who ensure that we have the health care materials and resources, such as Personal Protective Equipment and supplies, necessary to keep us all safe and to provide quality healthcare that Saskatchewan residents have come to expect.
It is with pride we acknowledge that there are over 42,000 front line staff who are part of the ‘health care team’…across CUPE, SGEU, SEIU-West, SUN, and HSAS. We are very proud of the work that front line health care workers perform every day and believe they are heroes not only during this pandemic, but every day of the year.
On behalf of these caring health providers, we ask that you take a moment to acknowledge the varied work that is being performed under some incredibly tense and stressful circumstances. They go into work every day, not sure if they will come into contact with COVID-19 or if they will take it home with them to their families. Yet, they continue to show up and lead our health care system. They do this for their patients, clients and residents. We believe their efforts and commitment are worthy of recognition, don’t you?
We look forward to your earliest reply.
Cc: Jim Reiter, Minister of Health
Warren Keading, Minister of Rural and Remote Health
Scott Livingstone, CEO Saskatchewan Health authority