For Immediate Release - August 19, 2020
Wilkie & Biggar – Today, SEIU-West members are demonstrating outside the Wilkie and District Health Care Centre and the Biggar and District Health Centre to emphasize their frustration with the lack of progress in bargaining due to the Sask Party government’s refusal to negotiate a fair deal.
“We know it’s just not true when the government says they don’t have a role to play in bargaining,” says President of SEIU-West, Barbara Cape. “It’s far past time that this government value the health care workers in this province.”
In the face of the predatory COVID-19 pandemic, SEIU-West members have shown up and provided their professional skills.
“Our members are deemed essential workers during this pandemic. They’ve put their health and the health of their families at risk. So when you add issues like being paid at 2016 wage rates; being told you don’t qualify for a pandemic-related wage supplement; and a government that refuses to add any resources to their insulting offer that was soundly rejected by our members over a year ago, it’s no wonder that we’re done waiting for a fair deal,” continues Cape.
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.
“We know our members are held to a different standard when it comes to infection control, so we’ve ensured that there are masks and hand sanitizer available on every line,” adds Neil Colmin, Vice President of SEIU-West. “We want the public to feel comfortable coming out to support our members as well.”
SEIU-West members working for the Saskatchewan Health Authority (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