For Immediate Release - October 22, 2020
Assiniboia – SEIU-West health care providers are reminding the public that they are still without a collective agreement for over 3½ years and are frustrated with the lack of progress in negotiations with the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO) due to the Saskatchewan Party government’s refusal to fund a fair deal.
“People who live and work in the surrounding area depend on reliable health care services that are provided by people they know and are not several hours away from their home,” says President of SEIU-West Barbara Cape. “Under the former SaskParty government, rural health care services have been neglected.”
During the pandemic, the SaskParty closed 12 rural emergency departments.
“This is insulting and dangerous to the people of Saskatchewan,” adds Cape. “We need responsible stewardship of our public health care system with a Health Minister and Premier who are willing to meet and take advice from the people on the front lines – our members.”
SEIU-West sent a letter to provincial political party leaders to seek answers to questions that their members have and to invite them to participate in a Facebook Live event to take questions from members from all sectors. With a few days left in the campaign, members have only heard back from one leader who also took the time to take their questions in a Facebook Live event on October 21.
“I think if you value your health care services, you should value the people who provide those services and take into account what they see as ways to improve the sector,” continues Cape. “Our members know the system well and are good at their jobs, they need to be compensated properly.”
In addition to the demonstrations today, SEIU-West members have held events in a number of communities including Swift Current, Biggar, Wilkie, Craik, Davidson, Moose Jaw, Rosetown, Kindersley, Gull Lake, Shauanvon, Wynyard, Lanigan, and several events in Saskatoon. Future events are being planned for Humboldt, Wakaw, Maple Creek, Kyle, and Lafleche.
During these demonstrations, the members of SEIU-West are following Public Health orders by physically distancing, wearing masks, practicing good hand hygiene, and attempting to maintain a maximum of 30 people in any given demonstration area.
SEIU-West members working for the SHA have been without a contract since March 31, 2017.
Service Employees International Union West (SEIU-West) represents over 13,000 people across Saskatchewan. They include people who work in health care, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors. They are joined by one colour – purple – and one union – SEIU-West. Visit PurpleWorks.ca to find out more about SEIU-West members.
For more information, contact:
Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator