Media Release: Health Care Providers Send Strong Message to SAHO and Government

For Immediate Release - December 13, 2019

Saskatoon – SEIU-West health care providers voted on a job action mandate Wednesday, December 11, 2019. An overwhelming majority agreed to authorize the SEIU-West bargaining committee to use any and all job actions needed to get a fair contract.

“This vote result demonstrates the frustrations our members feel waiting for the government to provide direction to SAHO to bargain in good faith and improve upon the prior offer that was soundly rejected by SEIU-West members,” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “Our members have sent a message to the Ministry of Health that they having been waiting far too long for a fair deal.”

Health care providers have been without a contract for almost 1,000 days.

“Job action could include a strike,” Cape continued. “But we’re not in a position to withdraw services now because of the requirements set out in The Saskatchewan Employment Act regarding Essential Services negotiations. Public sector workers have struggled with Essential Services legislation since 2007; these provisions continue to create significant hurdles for working people who wish to stand up for their rights.”

“We have to have an Essential Services agreement in place before we can take strike action,” added Cape. “This doesn’t mean we won’t take other actions to raise awareness in our communities while Essential Services negotiations take place. We want the public to know that our members have told their MLAs, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Remote & Rural Health and even the Premier – Stand up for and be fair to those who care. SEIU-West members are actively campaigning for the Health Authority to use the resources the government has committed to put care First and end understaffing. Our members do not see that commitment extended to the SAHO led bargaining table. SAHO has not offered anything new since our members soundly rejected their last monetary proposal.”

Visit EndUnderstaffing.ca to find out more about this issue and to send a letter to decision makers.

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.

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For more information, contact:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 306-652-1011 ext. 8733

Click here to download the printable PDF file of SEIU-West's media release: Health Care Providers Send Strong Message to SAHO and Government.

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