Letter to the Premier and Minister of Health: Parkridge Frontline Staff (September 2020)

Letter to the Premier and Minister of Health: Parkridge Frontline Staff (September 2020)

Answer

Premier Scott Moe & Health Minister Jim Reiter,

SEIU Health Care workers in Long Term Care, Home Care and Acute Care are wondering what it’s like to have the power to determine the value of dedicated, loyal Health Care employees of SHA? How do you determine our merit and value? Do you see us as Saskatchewan people making a honourable living by caring for the elderly, disabled, sick and most vulnerable or do you only see us as a debit in your provincial budget? Do you see us as worthy of respect?

Have you and Jim Reiter ever truly discussed the valuable contributions that SEIU-West and other Saskatchewan health care employees have made and are making in your Province? If you haven’t, maybe it’s time you did!

We understand that many of our co-workers have repeatedly tried to correspond with you to share their frustration with our long overdue contract, as well as their concerns about chronic understaffing and safety in the care environment.  Many of these members have received a response letter from the Minister of Finance, Donna Harpauer.   Quite honestly, this direction is telling – it seems like all the previous concerns and comments from our co-workers have fallen on deaf ears! It has become very obvious to us; we are disposable to our government – the only visible concern appears to budgetary-driven and there does not appear to be any consideration regarding our dedication, appreciation, loyalty, caring or sacrifices! It also has become very clear to us that these replies show no regard for the reality that we care for the most vulnerable of people in all of our communities.

You are the leaders in our Province that have the power to intervene as our bargaining remains in a standstill and this should be an opportunity to demonstrate our worth to the Province. We do know that the SAHO bargaining committee takes direction from you. We all are worth far more than 0-0-1-2-2 % over 5 years; we voted on that offer almost 16 months ago and this offer was rejected. We need you to give direction to SAHO before they can move to provide a fair offer.  We are asking for you to stand up for health care.

We strongly recommend that you, along with your Health Minister and SAHO, give careful thought and consideration to our long overdue contract; we require your commitment to resolve our present chronic understaffing issues along with our growing retention and recruitment challenges. You can put all the money you want into repairs of hospitals, clinics and long term care facilities but you still need quality dedicated staff to work in these buildings and to maintain them! You can spend all the money you want on new equipment but you still need us to operate and maintain this equipment!

SEIU-West member contributions to Health Care in this Province are endless! The public sees this now more than ever as we stretch our resources every day to meet the demands of COVID.  It’s about time our Government of Saskatchewan demonstrated value for these contributions and the sacrifices we make every day.

We are done waiting! We are fully prepared to stand up for our self worth and stand together to support each other in all of our communities. Ignoring us is not an option anymore!

Please ensure that you send us a reply from you – we have already heard from the Minister of Finance.

Saskatchewan SEIU Members

Standing Strong Together