For Immediate Release
April 17, 2023

Saskatchewan—On the heels of Medical Laboratory Week (April 9-15), Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLTs) represented by SEIU-West are reporting that daily staffing issues that are leading to added stress, burn out, and retention issues.

“When your job is to make sure that tests are run accurately because a person’s life depends on it, you want to be on top of your game and right now, there are some of our colleagues who are struggling with working extra shifts which is leading to burnout,” says Tanya Sheppard, Medical Laboratory Technologist. “Our job is critical to the diagnosis of our patients and specimens have a shelf life so when we do our job, we have to complete it—we can’t just hand it off to another person or say no. That’s not an option in our field.”

This is yet another indicator that the retention plan of the government is completely non-existent and is wreaking havoc on our healthcare system.

“Failing to post vacant positions, having part-time and casuals working full-time hours, and not approving vacation is ultimately going to lead to burnout and people leaving the system,” says Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “This is yet another example of the provincial government’s failure to give the healthcare system the resources they need to retain the staff they currently have in the system.”

The Health Human Resources plan laid out by the provincial government has a gaping hole in the retention section which is affecting every health care provider classification.

“The SHA and the government need to listen to our members, they are the ones on the frontline and know what will work to keep them in the workplace,” adds Barbara Cape. “By allowing this to continue and not putting a retention plan in place, the provincial government is failing the people of Saskatchewan.

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 to find out more about SEIU-West members.


For more information, contact:
Leanne Hendriks
Communications Coordinator, SEIU-West
306-652-1011 ext. 2244


Click here for a printable copy of this media release.

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