For Immediate Release - September 23, 2020
Rosetown & Kindersley – Health care providers who are members of SEIU-West are reminding the public that they are still without a collective agreement 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 rural health care providers are the backbone of our communities and provide care to their patients, clients, and residents with dignity and respect first in mind,” says President of SEIU-West Barbara Cape. “Unfortunately, our rural health care is suffering under the current government’s neglectful and dismissive attitude.”
Earlier this week, the Premier of Saskatchewan, Scott Moe and the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety snuck out the back door of the Saskatoon Cabinet office to avoid health care workers who were requesting a meeting to discuss the unfair government wage mandate.
“Our members across the province have been the front line defense against COVID-19, yet their concerns have been largely ignored and dismissed by the political leaders in this province,” continues Cape. “Our government has not recognized the essential work of all health care providers within the Temporary Wage Supplement program, as other provinces have, plus these workers have not received any wage increase since 2016. It’s poor management of health care when our government is ignoring their most valuable resource during a pandemic – front line staff.”
Since the August 12 demonstrations that took place at multiple sites across Saskatoon, SEIU-West members have held events in a number of communities including Swift Current, Biggar, Wilkie, Craik, Davidson and Moose Jaw. Future events are being planned for Shauanvon, Gull Lake, Maple Creek, Kyle, Wynyard, Lanigan, Assiniboia, and Lafleche so far.
Cape adds, “Our members’ working conditions are the conditions in which the public receives and experiences health care services, on a day to day basis understaffing is a chronic issue and we all deserve better.”
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