For Immediate Release - September 9, 2020
Saskatoon – Members of SEIU-West who work at Saskatoon City Hospital are holding a demonstration to remind the general public that they are still without a contract and are frustrated with the lack of progress in negotiations with the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO) due to the Sask Party government’s refusal to fund a fair deal.
“Our members have been reaching out to elected politicians of all parties to express their frustration at being without a fair collective agreement for over three years. They are holding these demonstrations across the province so that they can highlight to their communities that they need public support to get a fair collective agreement from this government,” says President of SEIU-West Barbara Cape. “Our health care system needs to be robust and well-funded, and that includes front line staffing.”
Since August 12, SEIU-West members have held demonstrations in a number of communities including Biggar, Wilkie, Craik, Davidson and three separate events in Moose Jaw. Future events have been requested by members to take place in Swift Current, Kyle, Wynyard, Rosetown, Kindersley, Lanigan, Assiniboia, and Lafleche. The list continues to grow.
“It’s important that our members share their dissatisfaction and frustration so that community understands that there is something fundamentally wrong with how this government is managing health care,” adds Cape. “Staff on the front line of health care have experienced a decade of decreased staffing levels; fewer positions and people to do the essential work we rely on; and a growing list of hard to recruit positions across the sector. This lack of investment in quality staffing levels impacts the quality of care in the health care system.”
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