For Immediate Release - November 12, 2020
Strasbourg & Watrous – Still in search of a fair collective agreement after over 1300 days, SEIU-West health care providers are showing their communities their frustration with the lack of progress in negotiations with the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO). This is due to the Saskatchewan Party government’s refusal to fund a fair deal.
“We know that our members are vital to the provision of health care services to people in our rural communities like Strasbourg and Watrous,” says President of SEIU-West Barbara Cape. “Even through the snow storm they’ve found creative ways to make sure that the people they serve are taken care of.”
Members have been sharing pictures and stories of alternative ways of getting to work during the recent winter blast.
“Our members are serious about getting fairness from this government. They have shown such a high level of dedication to their jobs and have earned every bit of their wages,” adds Cape. “What I think the public may not know is that our members do not make the wage of an RN or a Doctor.”
SEIU-West has entered conciliation with SAHO to get the outstanding issues resolved. It remains to be seen if the new Health Minister Paul Merriman and the Saskatchewan Party government will protect our valuable public health care system with actual financial investment into front line assets.
“We need a health minister that will take our members’ concerns seriously,” adds Cape. “Our members will no longer tolerate the government’s dismissive attitude and systemic underfunding of front line care, because they experience the terrible results of this every day: chronic understaffing, staff burnout, and increased wait times for health care services.”
Since the multi-site demonstration in Saskatoon on August 12, a total of 19 communities including Strasbourg and Watrous have borne witness to these #DoneWaiting demonstrations including Assiniboia, Biggar, Cabri, Craik, Davidson, Gull Lake, Humboldt, Kindersley, Lanigan, Moose Jaw, Rosetown, Saskatoon, Shauanvon, Swift Current, Wakaw, Wilkie, and Wynyard. More demonstrations are being planned in communities where SEIU-West members live and work.
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