Addiction Recovery is not a race- Addiction Awareness Week 2019

Millions of Canadians struggle daily with addiction.

Developing an addiction is not a character flaw, nor is it a sign of weakness. Addiction to certain substances can actually cause changes to the brain which might make sobriety seem impossible. It takes more than willpower to overcome addiction. With the right treatment and support, recovery is possible.

The dedication and hard work of SEIU-West members in the Health Care and the Community-Based Organization sectors help make it possible for people struggling with addiction to take that little step forward every day. 

One such individual is Justin, a maintenance worker, at the Métis Addictions Council of Saskatchewan (MACSI) in Prince Albert. Read more about his role as a part of the Community Based Organization (CBO) sector team.

This National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW), SEIU-West would like to bring attention to the millions who struggle with addiction every day.

- Addiction affects all walks of life

- Recovery is achievable and possible

- Choose your words wisely – words matter

- The cost affects us all

Call Healthline at 811 for professional health or mental health and addictions advice, education and support. It’s free confidential and open 24/7.

For more information visit: Canadian Center on Substance Use and Abuse and 211 Saskatchewan.

Celebrate Community Worker Appreciation Day- NOV 6

Join us as we celebrate November 6 – Community Worker Appreciation Day.  Many SEIU-West members work in the Community-Based (CBO) Sector; they work in residential/group home settings and provide services for the vulnerable, they assist with mobile crisis services, they provide day programs for the disabled and support their independent living, they work in child care programs, and they engage with clients in addictions counseling /treatment programs. CBO Word Search

It’s important to recognize this group whose work is crucial to the well-being of communities across the province. The work of CBO’s is especially vital today because they go to great lengths to cushion the effects of government cuts and understaffing, often at great personal cost.

In recognition of their valued work, SEIU-West invites you to participate in the Community Worker Appreciation Day Contest! Complete this word search for your chance to win some awesome prizes:

  1. Tickets to the Festival of Trees
  2. Tickets to the Stand! Movie
  3. A variety of gift passes to movies and restaurants


Email [email protected] with your answer by November 13, and you’ll be entered to win!

Celebrate Medical Radiation Technologist (MRT) Week November 3-9!

SEIU-West is thrilled to celebrate the hardworking MRTs of our health care team.

You may have met a MRT during procedures they perform like angiograms (usually of the brain), special IV line insertions (like PICC’s), Ports, and Hickman lines, feeding tube placements, and biopsies, to name a few. MRTs are there to explain these procedures to patients and often start IVs. MRTs also assist during procedures by providing patient care, driving the x-ray equipment to guide the doctors, and scrubbing in with doctors to assist with the procedure. Cleanup and re-prep is an important aspect of their day as well as there are often many procedures and new challenges each day.

The work of an MRT is crucial for our health care system as MRTs perform imaging and radiation-related therapy, which is so often needed by patients. MRTs deliver safe and professional care by relying on the skills and experiences they’ve gained in their frontline work.

In recognition of their valued work, SEIU-West invites you to participate in the MRT Week Contest! Complete this crossword for your chance to win some awesome prizes:

  1. Tickets to the Festival of Trees
  2. Tickets to the Stand! Movie
  3. A variety of gift passes to movies and restaurants

Email [email protected] with your answer by November 13, and you’ll be entered to win!

Celebrate Health Care Providers Week Oct 27 - Nov 2

Read the latest editorial written by President Barb Cape in recognition of Health Care Providers Week - and don't forget to celebrate this week! You can request funding for your Unit's celebration at this link

As we celebrate Health Care Providers Week, let’s take the opportunity to pause and think about the incredible amount of work that health care providers do every day across a myriad of classifications for their patients, clients and residents.

This dedicated and caring team of professionals includes technologists with specialized skills to frontline nursing staff who provide direct hands-on care and technical expertise; administrative professionals who manage scheduling, billing, and the ‘behind the scenes’ ebb and flow of work; our environmental services workers who provide a clean, safe and healthy place for our patients, clients, and residents to recover; our food and dietary services staff who ensure proper nutrition; our medical device reprocessing staff who ensure equipment and tools are sterilized; our facility and trades people who manage the infrastructure needs and challenges of our new and aging buildings; and our security officers who keep a watchful eye to ensure everyone in and around the buildings are safe.

They all play a vital role in the provision of health care services. SEIU-West invites you to celebrate every person on the health care team. All members of the team bring value and skill to keeping our public health care system running. This is truly the crown jewel of our provincial public service system as it reaches into so many aspects of our lives.

Unfortunately, our system has been understaffed for far too long.

This chronic understaffing has led to people not choosing health care as a career because of the stagnant wages, which leaves those left in the system to do more with less people – putting them at risk both physically and emotionally.

We are encouraged by the commitment to build new facilities. However, we need people to provide the services that are being offered within these new buildings.

You deserve quality public health care services. We are calling on you, members of the public, to help protect your public health care system and the people who provide the services by telling the government to put care first – end understaffing.

Send your letter of support today; visit

Please join SEIU-West in celebrating health care providers and the incredible skill and dedication they bring to work every day.

Barbara Cape
President, SEIU-West

Celebrate Facilities and Engineering Week October 20-26!

In addition to Education Week this week, SEIU-West is proud to recognize and celebrate Facilities and Engineering Week!

The work of our members in Facilities and Engineering is crucial to the success of the health care team and positive outcomes for those they care for.  We need heating, water and lighting systems to be well-organized and operational; this is required to support quality health care environments that patients, residents, visitors and staff rely on. The SEIU-West members who make up the Facilities and Engineering department ensure our health care environments are safe, comfortable, and efficient.

Members who work in Facilities and Engineering work in a variety of fields including:  Building and Energy Maintenance, Construction, Waste Management, Groundskeeping and Landscaping, and Clinical and Plant Engineering. 

SEIU-West Facilities and Engineering workers are a vital part of efficient health care work environments – none of us could successfully complete our jobs without them! So in honor of our members who work in Facilities and Engineering, we are holding a contest and you can nominate a member of the Facilities and Engineering team who really makes a difference in your workplace.  It could be their positive attitude, their awesome work, or the way they support the whole health care team.

Please send in your nominations, along with a sentence or two as to why they deserve to win to [email protected] by October 27, 2019. Your nominee could win one of several great prizes!

Put Kids First: Editorial for Education Week

Put Kids First: By Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West

As the school year continues on, we have an opportunity to celebrate Education Week (October 20 – 26. 2019) and to put kids first. But this is no mere platitude, rather a call to recognize the value of education and the impact on our province.

Saskatchewan has undergone some dramatic changes in the past ten years.  Our provincial government boasts an increase in population and a strong economy.  Our Premier publicly states that he is standing up for Saskatchewan.  We need to engage on this undertaking with him – is he really standing up for our younger generation? Is he standing up for education?

We lost approximately 350 Education Assistant jobs during the boom years. This was followed up by the 2017-18 budget, where the education sector experienced deep cuts to the tune of 54 million dollars; in the 2018-19 budget funding was restored but only to the extent of 30 million dollars. In our current budget year school operating grants were reduced by 31.5 million dollars. This leaves us struggling at significantly reduced budget levels. The real world impact of those funding cuts has been larger classroom sizes; reduced services in maintenance and infrastructure; further cuts to all staff who work as Librarian and Education Assistants, Administrative Assistants, and Maintenance, among others. When classroom sizes balloon and resources are stripped, it is the students who suffer. With a growing population, the program cuts for English as an Additional Language and supports for students with special needs are particularly concerning…our kids need our support!

Your voices and collective wisdom can make the difference in the decision of the government to ensure that we have more staff: Teachers, Education Assistants, Maintenance, Administrative and Library Assistants. Our province depends on the education that we can provide: high quality education is a silver bullet that can promote prosperity and progress for our future society.

The time is now – during Education Week – reach out to your MLA and ask them to put kids first – end understaffing.  Our children deserve a safe, comfortable and well supported learning environment.

Click here to find out more ways to support Education Week

SEIU-West is proud to recognize October 15, 2019 as Pharmacy Technician Day!

SEIU-West members who work as Pharmacy Technicians are a vital part of our public health care team; they prepare, check and distribute medications and pharmacy supplies to ensure people are safely supplied their prescribed medications or over the counter medicines. They also help share relevant patient information with other health care professionals when requested.

Pharmacy Technicians assist Pharmacists, patients, residents and clients requiring medications which in turn, makes our communities healthier places to live and work. Thank you Pharmacy Technicians for your valuable work!  

To celebrate Pharmacy Technician Day, SEIU-West asks that you to participate in the Pharmacy Technician Day Contest!

With the election around the corner, Pharmacare is a big election issue. As many health care providers would agree, it is essential for people to be able to access their prescribed medications. However, without a universal drug plan, many people cannot afford their medications and end up skipping or splitting their medications. This leads to worsened health and often, with more people in the emergency room. So in recognition of the importance of Pharmacy Technicians and the work they do to provide prescribed medications, tell us: why is Pharmacare important to you? Email your answers to [email protected] by October 22, 2019 for your chance to win a great prize!

Celebrate Medical Device Reprocessing (MDR), Health Care Security, and Combined Laboratory & X-Ray Technologists (CLXT) Week October 13-19!

SEIU-West members who work in MDR, Security and the CLXT classification are necessary to the health care team because they help to ensure safe and quality health care provision.

Health care providers who work in MDR protect and strengthen patient safety by ensuring health care equipment is dependable, clean and effective. They inspect, assemble, sterilize, and decontaminate health care equipment – they must therefore be highly detailed in their work and meet great physical demands. Through the hard work of those who work in MDR, health care patients can expect excellence in their care.

Health care workers who work in Security are at the frontline when it comes to patient and staff care. As in any health care setting, unexpected situations can occur – Security Officers are there to provide and ensure a safe environment. Security Officers must be attentive to detail because part of their job is preventive patrol and inspection as this helps to determine whether conditions are normal. They must also be well-prepared and have the ability to respond quickly and appropriately to any number of security emergencies occurring within a health care setting.

CLXTs are vital to the success of quality and safe health care. By performing X-ray exams, Electrocardiograms (ECG) and Holter monitoring, these hard working health care technicians ensure patients receive the best care available. The role of a CLXT is to provide diagnostic tools that the entire health team relies on because they assist in the proper diagnosis and treatment of patients. CLXT’s will procure and analyze specimens, and prepare patients before any lab and x-ray procedures.

It is evident that health care providers who work in the MDR, Security, and CLXT departments are essential to safety and quality care. To recognize their value, SEIU-West is happy to announce a recognition contest!

Complete the MDR, Security, and CLXT Week Wordsearch by October 21 for your chance to win a great prize! Email your completed wordsearches to [email protected] – good luck!

SEIU-West celebrates Food Services Week October 6-12!

The members of SEIU-West who work in Food Services are central to ensuring patients, residents, and clients have their nutritional needs met when receiving care. They also make sure all staff and visitors have access to their delicious meals that are prepared with high-quality hygienic standards.

In a health care setting, various resident and patient needs must be taken into account – our professional Food Services members make sure that food allergies and dietary needs are taken into account to safeguard against possible complications that can cause set-backs in recovery and impact a person’s overall health.

It’s clear those who work in Food Services are a vital part of the health care team and in recognition, we’re launching our Food Services Week contest!

With Fall in the air, people are increasingly in the mood for comfort foods and warm meals. So for this contest we ask you to tell us: what’s your favourite comfort food? Bonus points for sending a picture of a comfort meal made by a member in Food Services!

By entering, you could win a gift card or movie pass!

Email [email protected] to enter – the deadline is October 15!

And don't miss our CTV ad airing this week across Saskatchewan in celebration of Food Services Week! You can check out that ad on our YouTube page here

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