Mission

The Political Action and Awareness Committee educates and motivates our members to engage in political issues at all levels of government and lobbies for the rights of all workers.

Are you wondering why politics is important to your Union?

Whether it is a municipal, provincial or federal election or issue, the people we elect to lead our towns, cities, province or country can greatly affect our community and the lives of working people.

For instance, the federal government decides how much money in their budget will be allotted to each of the provinces for health care and education. The amount of federal funding received for public services affects our provincial budget.

Committee Members

Committee Co-Chairs:
Janine Lazaro, CCA/DA – St. Paul’s Hospital
Melissa Hoffman, Early Childhood Educator – YWCA Saskatoon – 306-262-1225 

Communicator:
Kyla Wotypka, Continuing Care Assistant (CCA) – Meadow Long-Term Care 

Committee Members:
Maryna Guravska, Sterile Processing Worker – Saskatoon City Hospital – 306-655-8375 
Chris Pontikis, Maintenance Service Worker – Oliver Lodge – 306-881-8425
Martin Been, ESW, St. Paul’s Hospital – 306-260-2951

Top Officer:
Barbara Cape – 306-477-8730 

Staff Representatives:
Shawna Colpitts, Director of Political Action & Education - 306-652-1011 ext. 2224
Dennel Pickering, Member Action Coordinator (Temp) – 306-652-1011 ext. 2238 

Resources

Click on the link below for the committee terms of reference:
Terms of Reference – Political Action and Awareness Committee

Important links:
Find your Federal Riding: Elections Canada
Find your Provincial Constituency: Elections Saskatchewan

Campaign pages:
Laundry and Linen Privatization
Saskatchewan Employment Act (SEA Campaign)

Committee Application: Two Vacancies on the Political Action & Awareness Committee (PAAC)

Two positions on our Political Action & Awareness Committee (PAAC) are currently vacant and applications to fill these positions are now open. 

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to expand their union involvement and activism in this position, and play an active role in making the connections for SEIU-West members as to why politics is important. 

We are inviting interested members to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). You can submit online or by downloading the printable PDF file of the EOI and sending it in as described.

Once submitted, President Barbara Cape will work with the Top Officers and together they will make a recommendation to the Executive Board to appoint an eligible member to fill the vacancy for the remaining term.

If you or any of the member in your unit are interested in applying, please apply by Friday July 17, 2020.

As always, if you or your members have any questions please use our Contact form.

Committee Position: Political Action & Awareness

A position on our Political Action & Awareness Committee (PAAC) is currently vacant as a result of the resignation of a member.

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to expand their union involvement and activism in this position, and play an active role in making the connections for SEIU-West members as to why politics is important. 

The remaining term for this position is for approximately one year and four months.

We are inviting interested members to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). You can submit online or by downloading the printable PDF file of the EOI and sending it in as described.

Once submitted, President Barbara Cape will work with the Top Officers and together they will make a recommendation to the Executive Board to appoint an eligible member to fill the vacancy for the remaining term.

If you or any of the member in your unit are interested in applying, please apply by Friday January 31, 2020.

As always, if you or your members have any questions please use our Contact form.

Political Action & Awareness Committee Vacancy

A vacancy has arisen on the SEIU-West Political Action & Awareness committee  as a result of the resignation of a member. The remaining term will be for approximately one year and five months for this position.

We are inviting interested members to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) form to fill this vacancy. You can submit your EOI online or via paper. Please forward your EOI form to President Barbara Cape; she will work with the Top Officers who will make a recommendation to the Executive Board to appoint an eligible member to fill the vacancy for the remaining term.

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to expand their union involvement and activism in this position, and play an active role in making the connections for SEIU-West members as to why politics is important. 

If you or any of the member in your unit are interested in applying, please complete this paper Expression of Interest form or Online EOI and submit it to Barb Cape's attention by Monday, November 24, 2019. In the meantime, if you or your members have any questions please feel welcome to contact Barb at (306) 693-7922 (ext. 8730) or email [email protected].

We Need To Ask: Where's The Fairness?

Want to know why your elected Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) think it’s okay to mandate rollbacks and offer zeroes to health care providers while at the same time giving themselves a 3.5% wage increase last year and a 2.3% raise this year? Now is your opportunity to find out.

Your SEIU-West Political Action and Awareness Committee (PAAC) has identified a number of MLA BBQs occurring this month, and we encourage you to attend in order to speak to your MLA about how their actions devalue the hard work of those who provide health care in this province. There will be members of the PAAC there so if you’d like to meet with your fellow health care workers, please email [email protected] to coordinate.

Here are the details:

  • Don Morgan – MLA for Saskatoon Southeast (and Minister of Labour): Free BBQ May 21st from 5-7pm at St Bernard School (203 Whiteshore Crescent, Saskatoon) 
  • Don Morgan – MLA for Saskatoon Southeast (and Minister of Labour): Free BBQ  May 22nd from 5-7pm at St. Luke School (275 Emmeline Rd, Saskatoon)
  • Don Morgan – MLA for Saskatoon Southeast (and Minister of Labour): Free BBQ May 25th from 11:30am-2pm at the Independent Foods in Briarwood (315 Herold Rd, Saskatoon)
  • Lisa Lambert – MLA for Saskatoon Churchill-Wildwood: Free BBQ May 27th from 4:30-6:30pm at the Nutana Kiwanis Park (3003 Porter St, Saskatoon -across from Market Mall)

SEIU-West is also able to provide a series of questions if you’d like assistance. Again, just email [email protected] in order to get a copy.

SEIU-West members understand that while we bargain with Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO), it is our government that provides the budget SAHO has to work with. When we see MLAs give themselves raises while offering us zeroes, and when we know that the same budget that funds MLA salaries, funds ours – we must ask: where are the increases for health care providers so we can keep our heads above water?

It is vital that every health care provider have their voice heard. We hope you will attend at least one of the above-mentioned BBQs and if you are aware of any other MLA BBQs occurring, please let us know by emailing [email protected]

 

Join a SEIU-West Committee!

SEIU-West Committees keep us at the forefront of the Labour movement in Canada, and provide an excellent opportunity for members to learn from each other. Committee members serve for two years, and we have now approached the end of a two-year term so we are requesting SEIU-West members and all current committee members to submit their Expressions of Interest form should they wish to serve or remain on committees.

 

Voices Matter: SEIU-West PAAC Communications with our Premier

SEIU-West members have been calling, meeting, and writing their MLAs to discuss their concerns about unsafe staffing levels in health care. Members of the Political Action and Awareness Committee (PAAC) have also been meeting with elected officials, including our Premier. This meeting took place on December 14, following a discussion with Premier Moe at a Sask Party BBQ last summer where staffing levels and respect for health care workers were shared. Below, you will find the letter to the Premier as a follow-up from their December meeting, and the Premier's response. If you need assistance setting up a meeting or writing a letter to your elected officials, email [email protected]

We conveyed that we have no minimum care standards in long term care; it depends where you work and how many care providers there are, as to the workload. We raised the issue of mandating health care workers to work beyond full-time hours, with an example of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) being put in a position to either abandon their residents/patients or break The Saskatchewan Employment Act by working over 16 hours; all because there was no staff available to replace. We told you this is unfair and unsafe.  We mentioned a wing that went unstaffed overnight because there was no one available. We talked about vacant positions that cannot be filled, and regrettably those numbers have grown since December.  We discussed an equipment specialist who felt she couldn't access bereavement or sick leave because she knew cancelled appointments would mean another 6-12 months wait time for those families with children in need of care. We identified hard-to-recruit classifications such as the MRI Techs who are leaving the sector for better wages and work conditions.

It appeared that our Premier understood the need to increase staffing levels.  So I have let our members know in my many journeys that you seemed to hear and understand the struggles frontline health care providers face daily. I even sent out a letter to fellow leaders to tell them how you met with us and I told them that our voices matter.

While we are grateful to hear that you have found funding for mental health; this is a critical need and unfortunately many of our frontline workers are going to need it. They feel overwhelmed often, because they can't provide the care they know our seniors and most vulnerable deserve. Many have issues balancing work family life, not only due to mandating, also due to their self-imposed obligation to work many, many shifts in a row because they know no one else is there to do it.

We appreciate that change is slow in government, but your government needs to understand that it is necessary to create a healthier environment for health care workers and their patients, clients and residents in Saskatchewan.  After hearing  the budget details yesterday, it seems we have been forgotten again.  Funding for more beds doesn't cut it - we need more health providers every day in our care environments.  So I ask, whose voices matter and when will ours be heard?

Signed,

SEIU-West Political Action and Awareness Committee 

To read the Premier's response, click here.

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