For Immediate Release, April 9, 2020
Saskatoon – The provincial government and the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) pandemic response plan is creating a great sense of unease for SEIU-West health care providers.
“The SHA has placed a pronounced emphasis upon conserving Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies rather than making them readily and easily accessible to health care providers in the province,” says President of SEIU-West, Barbara Cape. “Building trust and support for health care providers means ensuring there is a safe care environment.”
Health care workers are no strangers to using PPE in their jobs. In this critical moment, regular precautions are being relaxed by SHA and we are receiving reports that members are not getting the supply they need to ensure they will be able to keep the people they care for safe.
“Our members do not want to be the cause of the spread of the virus,” continues Cape. “If they aren’t provided enough PPE to keep themselves safe in the regular course of their work, they have the potential to spread COVID-19 not only in their workplaces but in their communities as well.”
SEIU-West members have been working through this pandemic and remain dedicated to providing quality care to the citizens of the province.
“We want to thank local businesses that have stepped up to help out our members by offering lower hotel room rates and discounts on food and beverages and the people who show their appreciation through clapping in the evenings,” added Cape. “Our members feel and appreciate the love from their communities, but we need to emphasize that health care workers are not disposable heroes. The SHA and our governments need to step up their game and provide confidence to those working in the care environment, whatever role they perform; it is necessary to furnish ample supplies of PPE.”
SEIU-West has set up a page dedicated to information about the coronavirus for their members (https://www.seiuwest.ca/covid_19_coronavirus).
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