Media Release: Cabri and Gull Lake are #DoneWaiting for Fairness
Cabri & Gull Lake – Health care providers who are members of SEIU-West are reminding the public that they are still without a collective agreement. Frustrations are heightened due to a lack of meaningful progress in negotiations with the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO) largely due to the Sask Party government’s refusal to fund a fair deal.
“Our rural communities rely on stable predictable health care services that can be provided without the need to travel several hours away from their home for access,” says President of SEIU-West Barbara Cape. “Our Sask Party government seems to have forgotten about this need for rural health care services. As a result our members and their clients, patients and residents are left in the dust by the ongoing lack of investment by Premier Moe.”
On Monday, SEIU-West served a Notice of Impasse to the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety. This is a required step under the Saskatchewan Employment Act (SEA) prior to taking strike action.
“Unilaterally shutting down emergency rooms in rural communities during a pandemic without consulting the community or health care staff has not been a good decision by our government,” adds Cape. “Our members who work across this province in rural and urban areas have been our first line of defense against COVID-19, yet politicians have consistently dismissed their concerns.”
On September 21, both Premier Scott Moe and Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Don Morgan exited out the back door of the Saskatoon Cabinet office to avoid speaking to health care workers who were in the office waiting and requesting a meeting.
“It’s time that we expect more out of our elected representatives,” continues Cape. “We go to work every day and earn our wage, these guys need to earn their wages too.”
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, and several events in Saskatoon. Future events are being planned for Shaunavon, Wynyard, Lanigan, Maple Creek, Kyle, Assiniboia, 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:
Karman Kawchuk, Research Coordinator
Phone: 306-652-1011 x 2232