October 20, 2022

For Immediate Release

Saskatchewan – Three days before the start of Health Care Providers’ Week in Saskatchewan, SEIU-West members from the healthcare sector and their supporters are marching from the Delta Marriott Downtown to the Saskatoon Cabinet Office to send the provincial government a message: healthcare workers need more than empty words of praise—they need more staff and a raise.

Health care workers have carried the weight of the pandemic every day for years now. And every day SEIU-West hears members’ stories of burnout, of severe understaffing and crushing workloads.

In recent months, the Saskatchewan government has made several public announcements related to the recruitment and retention of staff in the healthcare sector which make great promises but lack a plan for execution. “We see band-aid solutions being put to these problems, but what we need is a fundamental change to the system,” says Barbara Cape, SEIU-West President. “Workers need a substantial investment in a healthcare system that has wrung us out.”

Understaffing in the healthcare sector has been a chronic issue impacting SEIU-West members since long before the pandemic. There is a real need to put effort into not only recruiting new staff, but to retaining the staff currently working in the healthcare system.

In a recent survey of more than 800 SEIU-West members, 85% feel the system has gotten worse in recent years, yet want to continue working in healthcare. “Our members are dedicated to making the healthcare system better. Workers are tired of working short,” Cape says, “but they continue to do it for the patients, clients, residents and their coworkers.”

Members and Union leaders are gathered in Saskatoon in preparation of their next round of bargaining.

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:
Leanne Hendriks
Communications Coordinator, SEIU-West
306-652-1011 ext. 2244


Click here for a printable PDF copy of this media release.

Latest posts

Take action

Virtual Bulletin Board