For Immediate Release, January 12, 2021
Saskatoon – SEIU-West calls for the Saskatchewan government, Ministry of Health and Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) to stop the blame game and begin to communicate with health providers on the best strategy for a real plan for access to vaccinations.
“Our losses in Saskatchewan are significant,” says Barb Cape, President of SEIU-West. “We need some assurance today that the Government is listening to the voices of health care providers. This means designing a real plan for the vaccination of health care providers – one that is transparent, efficient, and ensures access for the whole health care team.”
While health care providers continue to roll up their sleeves in the midst of growing workloads there is a total lack of leadership from Scott Moe and Paul Merriman on our imminent need for stronger public health measures, actual enforcement and a real plan for access to vaccinations to combat rapidly-rising COVID numbers.
“COVID19 in Saskatchewan is out of control once again, and our members in acute care continue to meet the challenge of over-capacity while those in long-term care are faced with substantial death tolls, chronic understaffing and managing care for our seniors,” states Cape. “Community care providers in home care are anxious about the vulnerability of their clients as well.”
SEIU-West would appreciate an acknowledgement of the additional burdens health sector workers are facing as the number of hospitalizations have sky-rocketed, and the number of long-term care facilities in outbreak has increased significantly during this second wave of the pandemic.
“We are calling on Merriman and Moe to act before it’s too late – we have a pressing need for an organized plan to get the vaccination rollout accomplished,” adds Cape.
“Our members are exhausted – workloads have ballooned, emotional and physical burdens have taken a toll, and the stress caused by this pandemic continues to be overwhelming. In that vein, we strongly urge that all essential health care workers, including lab, administrative and support services staff have access to this vaccine as soon as possible as they are on the front line of this infection. We don’t want to see politicians taking photo opportunities right now – let’s just get people vaccinated.”
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