February is Black History Month

February is recognized as Black History Month – its history was rooted in the aim of countering unfair condemnation by acknowledging the accomplishments and contributions made by Black people. In the labour movement we’ve seen a great deal of leadership around diversity, equality, and anti-racism, particularly led by Black people, like the historic labour leader A Phillip Randolph. Randolph became the leader of the first African-American labour union and in the 1940s he and 100,000 black job seekers ensured an executive order that ended race, colour, creed and national origin bias in the hiring of workers in the deferral government – in 1955, Randolph was elected AFL-CIO Vice President.

In Canada, Stanley Grizzle was elected President of his union local in the 1940s, and pushed the Canadian Pacific Railway to open management positions to Black people – he was also a leader in Canada’s civil rights movement in the 1950s – in 1960, Grizzle worked for the Ontario Labour Relations Board and in 1978, he was appointed a Citizenship Judge, a first for an African Canadian.

Today we have many black labour leaders, including our current Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) Secretary Treasurer, Marie Clarke Walker. She is the first-ever racialized woman to serve in this position. She is very active in the social justice community and currently serves as an executive member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists.

Black History Month also serves as a reminder and opportunity to act on the harmful impacts of racism both past and present, so that communities can progress with respect and justice.

SEIU-West stands against any form of racism, and we are proud of our union’s efforts in working with Black Lives Matters across borders, particularly SEIU Rise – a development program for young members in Canada, Puerto Rico, and the US – whose top priority is racial justice.

Together, we must use our knowledge, words, and actions to stand up against racism and hate. For more information on confronting racism, visit our post about confronting discrimination here.

SEIU-West encourages you to join in the Black History Month celebrations – you can see various activities throughout the province on the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan website here

Celebrate National Therapeutic Recreation Month!

SEIU-West is proud to join the celebrations of National Therapeutic Recreation Month in February! Our members who work as therapeutic Recreation Coordinators and Recreation Workers are an essential piece of the health care team. Their work ensures residents, patients, and clients are able to reach their full potential and members like John, love what they do.

John, a therapeutic Recreation Coordinator at Parkside Extendicare, loves providing the residents a great quality of care and being able to engage in their daily lives.  As a Recreation Coordinator, John provides programming that benefits the residents’ emotional, physical, spiritual, and social aspects of their daily lives. He particularly appreciates seeing the smiles on residents’ faces.

In recognition of National Therapeutic Recreation Month, SEIU-Wests asks that you tell us why Therapeutic Recreation is important to you. Let us know by emailing [email protected] by February 28, 2019 for your chance to win a prize from a selection of gift cards!

Tampon Tuesday: Collection Drive

In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8, SEIU-West is participating in the Labour & United Way Partnership’s 3rd Annual Tampon Tuesday collection drive.

Menstrual products are a necessity, but they’re also expensive – this creates barriers for many women to access what should be a basic right. Women and girls who live in poverty often have to choose between food or feminine hygiene products. For homeless women it is even worse.

While there are on-going campaigns to ensure free access to menstrual products in Canada, we’re not there yet. That’s why each SEIU-West office is participating in Tampon Tuesday, a collection drive that provides SEIU-West members the opportunity to collect and support the provision of menstrual products to women in need.

WHEN: All SEIU-West Offices will be collecting products until March 15, 2019.

WHERE:

Saskatoon Drop-Off Location (items will be donated to the United Way Saskatoon and Area for distribution):

#200 – 747 46th Street West

Open Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm

Moose Jaw Drop-Off Location (items will be donated to a local women’s shelter):

39 Athabasca Street West

Open Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm

Swift Current Drop-Off Location (items will be donated to a local women’s shelter):

333 Central Avenue North

Open Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm

You can also take up your own workplace tampon collection drive! Click to download the Collection Drive Registration form.

If you’re in Saskatoon, there is a special Tampon Tuesday event on March 12 as well – hope you can make it! Let’s end the stigma and work together to ensure access to menstrual products for all women.  

We Care: Drive For Seniors

SEIU-West members at Parkridge Centre in Saskatoon launched a drive to help seniors in our community. A lot of seniors don’t have enough money at the end of the month to get few extra things they might want or need. To fill that void, our unit has set up “purple boxes” in various locations throughout Parkridge to collect items. Even our families have gotten involved. Some of our
members’ grandchildren have gotten into the project by creating colourful signs that invite donations. All the items collected will be distributed in the community with help from the United Way of Saskatoon.

Suma: LPN at Saskatoon City Hospital

During Health Care Providers Week, SEIU-West members who work at Saskatoon City Hospital (SCH) held a contest asking how members connect/stay up to date with their union and why they work in health care. Suma, a LPN who works at SCH, was their lucky winner after sharing her moving story:

SEIU-West Recognizes National Addictions Awareness Week: November 26- December 2

1 in 5 Canadians experience a mental illness or addiction problem. In respect to National Addictions Awareness Week, SEIU-West would like to recognize the members who work in addictions as well as the many people who suffer from substance abuse each day.  The need to address mental health and addictions is urgent: people with mental illness and addictions are more likely to die prematurely than the general population as those suffering can have their life cut by 10 to 20 years. A huge problem for the lack of support is rooted in negative stigma – just 50% of Canadians would tell friends or co-workers that they have a family member who suffers with addictions and mental illness. It’s clear we have a lot of work to do, particularly in Saskatchewan where our suicide rates are among the highest in Canada.

Vital services such as treatment centres and programs are essential for recovery and support. Members like Allison and Janine work in a treatment centre, Metis Addictions Council of Saskatchewan Inc. (MACSI). Janine works as a Day Program Counsellor and Allison works as a Cook – both positions are crucial to improving the wellbeing of those suffering through addictions.

Janine majored in Addictions Counselling in her Bachelor of Health Sciences. She also has her Applied Suicide Intervention and PTSD: Strategies and Techniques for Clinicians training. In her work she provides one-on-one counselling to Day Program clients. She also assists with intakes for the 28 Day Program, as well as Assessment Screening and Referrals. Janine is the facilitator for the Day Program each afternoon as well. Janine loves the teamwork and collaboration of all the staff involved with helping those who struggle with addiction. A memorable moment for Janine is the MACSI Saskatoon annual FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) Awareness Walk where clients lead the way. This Walk raises awareness and makes connections with members of the community, and SEIU-West is proud to support this Walk each year.

Allison works as the Head Cook at MACSI in Saskatoon. She has her Safe Food Handling Certificate and loves to cook for the clients each day. In her line of support for those experiencing addictions at MACSI, Allison provides nutritious meals and ensures their diet gets the attention it requires on the road to recovery. Healthy food is essential in helping the body rebuild itself and it is vital that the body gets the nutrients it needs. Allison values the work she does, and especially enjoys when clients tell her they love her food and thank her for her efforts.

We want to thank all our SEIU-West members who work with those suffering with addictions, and we extend our admiration for those battling with addictions – we know how stigma and lack of access to support systems can create huge barriers for recovery, and we hope our Saskatchewan Government will begin to take real steps to address this growing crisis in the near future.  For more information on what these steps could look like, visit the links below: 

A 10 Year Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan First Nations Suicide Prevention Strategy

Celebrate Community Worker Appreciation Day!

SEIU-West is thrilled to celebrate Community Worker Appreciation Day on November 6, 2018! Community Workers work in Community Based Organizations (CBO), an immensely valuable sector that supports our most vulnerable populations. Our members who work in CBOs often work in group home settings where they’re able to improve the lives of those in need – people with addictions, those who cannot live independently, children in crisis, to name a few.

CBO workers are compassionate people who work in extremely stressful situations, but gain so much from the people they work with. Strong relationships are formed between CBO workers and those they care for, and we couldn’t be more proud of the people they are.

SEIU-West is particularly excited about this year’s Community Worker Appreciation Day as our Saskatoon Office is hosting the CBO province-wide conference! There will be CBO workers joining us from not only SEIU-West, but also from SGEU and CUPE. In recognition of this exciting conference and our Appreciation Day, we ask that you participate in our CBO Worker contest!

Simply visit our CBO coalition website, www.saskpeoplewhocare.org and tell us about a CBO worker from the website. For bonus points, please share the website on your social media! It is vital that we share the work of those who contribute so much to our communities – so please, participate today! Tell us about a CBO worker/whether you shared the website online by emailing [email protected] by November 13, 2018.

 

 

It’s Medical Radiation Technologist (MRT) Week!

MRT Week is November 4-10,  and SEIU-West is proud to celebrate the vital role of MRTs in our health care team!

MRT’s work with ever-changing radiation technology that has helped patients around the world. With the use of medical imaging and treatment technologies, MRTs are able to identify and assist in the finding of causes, effects, and treatment of disease.

Due to advancements in medical radiation technology, MRTs must be current and innovate in their skillset – they must also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills as they work closely with patients. With the involvement of MRTs, our health care team can provide the best quality care for the members of our communities. 

In recognition of their valued work, SEIU-West invites you to participate in the MRT Week Contest! We ask that you tell us – why MRTs are vital to the health care team? Email [email protected] with your answer, and you’ll be entered to win!

Contest Deadline: November 12, 2018

Celebrate Pharmacy Technician Day!

SEIU-West is proud to recognize October 16, 2018 as Pharmacy Technician Day! Members who work as Pharmacy Technicians are essential to our public health care team; they prepare, check and distribute medications and pharmacy supplies to ensure patients are safely supplied their prescribed predications or over the counter medicines. They also help share proper patient information with other health care professionals.

Pharmacy Technicians assist both Pharmacists and patients, residents and clients requiring medications as they demonstrate their valuable contribution to health care outcomes. They work to progress our communities to better health, and we thank them for all their incredible efforts each and every day!

To celebrate Pharmacy Technician Day, SEIU-West asks that you to participate in the Pharmacy Technician Day Contest! Simply tell us how a Pharmacy Technician has helped you/your family – email [email protected] by October 22, 2018 for your chance to win some awesome prizes!

Celebrate Facilities and Engineering Week!

SEIU-West is excited to celebrate Facilities and Engineering Week October 14-20, 2018!

Those who work in Facilities and Engineering are an integral part of the health care team. Patients, staff and residents rely on quality heating, water and lighting systems to be functional and well-organized in order to support safe health care environments. 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. 

Members like Zoe, who works as a Facility Maintenance Operator, enjoy the new challenges that occur each day in the health care sector.

In recognition of the hardworking people who strive to keep our health care environments safe and operational, we encourage you to participate in the Facilities and Engineering Week contest! We ask that you nominate a member who works within Facilities and Engineering and tell us why they’re important to you. By taking part, you will both be entering to win a number of great prizes including concert tickets, gift cards, and more! Just email [email protected] by October 22, 2018 for your chance to win!

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