Saskatoon—In response to the increased number of incidents and assaults reported by healthcare workers in Saskatoon, SEIU-West has launched their A Safe Spot Means A Lot campaign. The lack of parking available for staff coupled with the expansion of residential parking permit zones has resulted in healthcare workers walking for up to 20 minutes, alone in the dark, on streets which may not be shoveled, or even have sidewalks.
“Members tell us they don’t feel safe. They’ve been followed, harassed, and accosted as they walk for up to 20 minutes from their car to work,” says SEIU-West President, Barbara Cape. “Our members appreciate that this issue is frustrating for residents who live in the areas surrounding the three acute care facilities in Saskatoon, which is why we want to engage with the community and the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) to find a collaborative solution that works for everyone.”
SEIU-West conducted a series of townhall meetings with members during which their parking concerns were shared, and the resounding message was very straightforward. Healthcare workers want a safe place to park their cars to get to work on time to do their jobs.
“Healthcare workers have been clear: they understand that one solution won’t fit the needs of everyone,” adds Cape. “They are looking for more immediate solutions like an offsite lot with shuttle service to match shift changes and a review of the existing spots at facilities, spots which often sit empty and unused, while plans for additional onsite parking are developed.”
At the time of issuing this media release, more than 700 signatures have been gathered in support of this initiative. As we move forward, we will meet with the SHA, the City of Saskatoon, and community members to share the experiences of healthcare workers and their concerns and to identify solutions.
“Our members have ideas and suggestions. We want the employer to meet with us and hear what their staff has to say,” continues Cape. “We’re hopeful that meeting with members of the community will offer up additional ideas. And if we can present solutions for staff parking, parking will improve not only for our members, but the parking situation for visitors to the facilities, and the communities they are situated within will ultimately improve too.”
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:
Communications Coordinator, SEIU-West
306-652-1011 ext. 2244
Click here for a printable version of this media release.