October 15, 2020--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Release: Wynyard & Lanigan are #DoneWaiting for Fairness
Wynyard & Lanigan – SEIU-West members who work as health care providers are demonstrating today in these communities to remind the public that they remain without a collective agreement. Frustrations have heightened as negotiations with the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO) have stalled out largely due to the Sask Party government’s refusal to fund a fair deal.
“Our rural communities rely on stable predictable health care services; we know that people do not want to travel several hours away from their home for access,” says President of SEIU-West Barbara Cape. “Our members in rural communities believe that the Sask Party government has forgotten about this need given their ongoing lack of investment to ensure adequate staffing levels are in place.”
On October 5, SEIU-West served a Notice of Impasse to the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety.
“In the midst of this pandemic, our government unilaterally shut down emergency rooms in several rural communities. There was no consultation with any stakeholders - the community, health care staff or their representatives. This shows how little value our government places on the work being done in health care. It shows a clear lack of respect for front line expertise,” adds Cape. “While our members who work in health care have been our first line of defense against COVID-19, government leaders have consistently ignored, and dismissed their concerns.”
“It’s time that we ask for more out of our elected representatives,” continues Cape. “We go to work every day and earn our wage; these guys need to earn their wages too. And that has to include putting care first.”
In addition to the demonstrations today, SEIU-West members have held events in a number of communities including Swift Current, Gull Lake, Shaunavon, Cabri, Biggar, Wilkie, Craik, Davidson, Moose Jaw, and several events in Saskatoon. Future events are being planned for Maple Creek, Leader, Assiniboia, and Lafleche.
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:
Karman Kawchuk, Research Coordinator
Phone: 306-652-1011 x 2232