Moose Jaw— On Thursday June 15, 2023, the Moose Jaw Chamber of Commerce hosted a breakfast event for SaskParty MLA and Minister for Rural and Remote Health, Everett Hindley.
SEIU-West members and their supporters were outside the Moose Jaw Event Centre to bring attention to the lack of a focused plan on the part of the SaskParty government to retain and invest in our frontline healthcare workers. Specifically, Mr. Hindley’s dismissive comments about Continuing Care Assistants (CCAs).
“Members of the public were shocked to find out the number of jobs that are temporary and part-time,” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “Residents, clients, patients, and their families have seen for themselves that staffing levels are too low for the quality of care required.”
Retention of healthcare providers has been an ongoing challenge in Saskatchewan. Comments made by Minister Hindley, who stated that the SaskParty government’s retention plan is to continue paying low wages indicate a clear lack of understanding of the critically important work CCAs and other health care providers do every day.
When asked what the retention strategy for CCAs was, Minister Hindley simply said: “That’s what they’re paid to do.” CCAs in Saskatchewan, who have borne the weight of the pandemic, and do a vast majority of the hands-on, heavy lifting in Long-Term Care facilities, Retirement Homes, Hospitals, and Home Care were rightfully outraged and upset by the Minister’s comments.
“The comments made by Minister Hindley are dismissive, disrespectful and show a shocking lack of understanding of what is needed in the healthcare system” added Cape. “They undermine the very severity of the situation we find ourselves in and speaks to the lack of meaningful consultation with our members.
“Our members do their job every day. We’d like a Rural and Remote Health Minister that will do the same and actually listen to what our members have been saying for years—a fair raise and good working conditions,” continued Cape.
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:
Project Coordinator, SEIU-West
306-652-1011 ext. 2225
Click here to download a printable PDF of SEIU-West's media release Better Retention Strategies Needed for Saskatchewan’s Ailing Public Healthcare System.