Celebrate Unit Support Workers and Unit Assistants Week June 9-15!

SEIU-West is proud to recognize the vital role Unit Support Workers (USWs) and Unit Assistants (UAs) have on our health care team.

USWs, like SEIU-West member Indira, provide assistance to a Unit or Department by portering patients and residents, maintaining inventory, and ensuring the area is clean. They ensure supplies are well stocked by both ordering and organizing supplies – this responsibility is crucial to the success of the provision of good care. Cleaning patient/resident equipment and disposing of unsanitary items is also required as health care environments must be as sanitary as possible to prevent infection. Indira especially loves interacting with patients and families from all walks of life – she appreciates the daily learning she gains from these interactions. It is clear USWs have a role that everyone in the Unit or Department relies on, and we can’t thank them enough for their incredible work on the health care team!

UAs, like SEIU-West member Wanda, are often the first people you see when members of the public enter a Unit or Department in a health care environment. UAs will greet you and answer the telephone when you call. They often book appointments and provide travel coordination for patients. UAs process physician orders as well, such as sending paperwork or filing requisitions. UAs are excellent multi-taskers as they perform many levels of clerical duties such as report distribution, the maintenance of various health care manuals, and data entry. They are regularly called to help with cleaning, ordering supplies, and portering as well. Wanda especially loves the clerking part of her job, and appreciates the work she does with to support doctors. Thank you for your daily efforts to ensure our health care environments are well taken care of!

In recognition of USW/UA week, we encourage you to participate in our contest! Tell us why USW’s and UA’s are important to you – email your answer to [email protected] by June 17 and you’ll be entered to win some amazing prizes:

  • Frontier Days: Swift Current (sponsored by the SEIU-West Young Workers Committee!)
    • 4 June 26th Passes: (Includes general admission, Fresh Air Cinema Dumbo Movie in the Grandstand)
    • 2 June 28th Passes: (Includes general admission, Rodeo, Colter Wall & Nitty Gritty Dirt Band)
    • 2 June 29th Passes: (Includes general admission, Mini Chuckwagon & Heavy Horse Pulls)
    • 2 rodeo Passes
    • A large gift basket (pictured here)
    • One of two $50 giftcards to Rock Creek Tap and Grill
Celebrate Paramedic Services Week!

SEIU-West is proud to acknowledge the incredible work of those who work in Paramedic Services as we recognize Paramedic Services Week May 26-June 1. Often, they’re the first to care for those who need emergency medical attention, and they do not take this important role lightly.

The Paramedic Services team works in a stressful and demanding environment; our members respond to calls that range from heart attacks to collisions – in every situation, immediate medical attention is required. It is therefore vital for those who work in Paramedic Services to function well under pressure and be highly organized.

Members who work in Paramedic Services must also have a reliable, supportive team. By working with partners, the Paramedic Services team can count on each other for assistance in providing a safe work environment, as care is being provided to the person(s) in need.

Our communities depend on those who work in Paramedic Services and their ability to ensure quick, calm and competent care under pressure.  Thank you for providing such a fundamental service within the health care team!

President's Message: Nursing Week 2019

It’s an honour to take a moment to show our appreciation for the thousands of front line members of the health care nursing team. While a whole team of professionals contribute to our health and well-being, during this week we recognize the nursing team.

Thank A Youth Worker Day! May 9, 2019

On May 9, 2019, communities, organizations, and people around the world are joining together for the annual international day of celebrating and honoring Youth Workers on Thank a Youth Worker Day!

SEIU-West is proud to join the festivity of Thank A Youth Worker Day – we know how hard our members work to improve the lives of the youth they care for.

The dedicated SEIU-West members who care for our community’s youth and children often work in emergency or schools settings – their role is to ensure children and youth experiencing crisis situations are cared for in a home-like setting, or to provide personal care to students who require extra assistance. For youth in either of these situations, comfort and support is essential, and that is what our Youth Workers are trained to provide.

Our communities’ youth rely on encouraging environments to thrive, and Youth Workers help facilitate personal growth and empower youth to transition from dependence, to independence.

It is clear Youth Workers are vital to the success of our communities so please, join SEIU-West in thanking our incredible members who work as Youth Workers!

Celebrate Medical Laboratory, Administration, and Linen Services Week

In celebration of THREE incredible assets to our team, SEIU-West is proud to recognize the health care providers and workers who work in Medical Laboratory, Administration, and Linen Services!

This week is Medical Laboratory Week, and we want to honour the work of those who work in the Lab as Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLTs) and Medical Laboratory Assistants (MLAs).  Quality control is central for the work of MLTs and MLAs – cleanliness and safety are key. Troubleshooting and standardizing equipment are also an important aspect of a well-functioning lab. MLAs are responsible for specimen collection and pre-analytical specimen handling/processing. MLT’s are able to detect, prevent and manage physiological and pathological conditions. These steps are vital to ensuring a correct diagnosis and resulting treatment for the patient. Needless to say, MLAs and MLTs are fundamental to the health care team – thank you for your vast contributions to the health care team! 

Administrative Professionals are a shining example of commitment to a working team. Communication and organization are what drives a good team, and Administrative Professionals are largely responsible for efficient and clear communication within our education, community based, and health care teams. These skills are a must for Administrative Professionals as they are often responsible for staff scheduling and for ensuring the team is running to its best abilities. Thank you for your incredible work, Administrative Professionals!

Members who work in Linen Services are critical for the functionality of the health care team – health care services rely on clean, sanitary, and on-time materials to ensure patients, residents, clients, and staff can function properly in healthy environment. SEIU-West also represents members who work at Canadian Linen & Uniform Service, one of the largest uniform rental and linen supply companies in Canada. They provide linen products to the automotive, industrial, hospitality and health care sectors so we know our members work hard every day to ensure these important industries get what they need – we can’t thank our Laundry Service Workers enough for their amazing work!   

Now let’s put your skills to the test! Enter to win the Medical Laboratory, Administrative Professionals, and Linen Services Week Word Search for your chance to win some awesome prizes:

  1. Rush Tickets: SEIU-West has 25 tickets to give away for the Saturday, April 27th Rush vs. the Colorado Mammoth game. This game is themed as “Heroes Night” so it’s a perfect way to recognize those who work in the Medical Lab, Administration, and Linen Services!
  2. Long Day’s Night Music Festival in Swift Current June 20-22: Celebrate four of the longest days of the year with great music and lots of fun under a big-top tent at the Long Day’s Night Music Festival.
  3. Regina Folk Festival Tickets and Saskatoon Jazz Festival Tickets: Regina Folk Festival is held on the weekend following the long weekend in August, and the Saskatoon Jazz Festival takes place June 21-30!

Enter the contest by April 30 (or April 25 if you want to go to the Rush Game!) for your chance to win! Send your complete crosswords to [email protected]

Rights for One, Rights for All!

By Cameron R. Goodfellow, Registered Technologist Nuclear Medicine (RTNM) & Member of SEIU-West

By day I work alongside many of you in Saskatoon as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. I recently became more involved with our Union as a Shop Steward and I put my name forward to be the SEIU-West representative on the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) Pride and Solidarity Committee. In my spare time, I volunteer on the Board of Saskatoon Diversity Network (SDN), the group that plans the local Pride Festival in Saskatoon. 

At the beginning of February, I had an opportunity to attend the Fierte Canada Pride (FCP) Conference in Ottawa. FCP is an organization of Pride Festivals across Canada from coast-to-coast-to-coast that hosts an Annual Conference. This year, Ottawa played host and also enabled Pride Organizations a day of meeting MPs on Parliament Hill to advocate and lobby for strengthening the role of the LGBTQ+ Secretariat. The conference itself consisted of panel discussions on various topics but a first for the FCP Conference was a panel discussion on the Role of Labour and Unions with Pride. Though very Ontario-centric, UFCW and OPSEU were invited to give presentations on how Labour and Pride are not separate entities. Rather, the rights for one are the rights for all.

The one takeaway that I want to stress is how important an annual conference like the FCP is. It is an opportunity for Prides to  come together and share their experiences and you learn a lot of different things. Montreal actually has the largest budget in the country, Vancouver gets charged excessive municipal fees, and Saskatoon has one of the better relationships with police in the country.

Personally, I would love to see more involvement of Saskatchewan unions in Pride events this year. Saskatoon Pride Festival takes place June 14-22, 2019. Email [email protected] for more information. 

Spring 2019: Member of Distinction

Member of Distinction Spring 2019: Corrine Dale

It is always a pleasure seeing the compassion SEIU-West members possess each and every day; not only in the work that they do but in their private lives as well. They give back to their community in so many ways. We were reminded of that again when I was in Humboldt. Corrine Dale is an example of an everyday hero in SEIU-West. She donated a part of her liver to help a young boy whom she did not know or had any previous connection with. She only understood the need and responded with a part of herself so as to enhance someone else’s life. The courage this took is just another example of the kindness our members share in the community. The world is a better place because of Corrine. Thank You!

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - March 21

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed March 21st yet every day, each and every one of us must stand up to racism.

Racism is not unique to any particular society, it prevails in our communities across the world. Racism is also prevalent in the workplace and due to the growing frustration with our economy, we see the threat of division rising. Yet the decision-makers and influencers who benefit from exploitation want us to pit ourselves against each other – because when we recognize and understand that it is the majority of us who are experiencing poverty and inequality, decision-makers and influencers know they are outnumbered. Racism is dangerous and highly divisive so we must confront racial discrimination and stop it in its tracks before the situation is manipulated – if you hear someone say ‘immigrants are taking our jobs’, that’s discrimination, and it must be confronted. These type of phrases inflame the conditions of racism – left untreated, the future is bleak for us all. We cannot allow racist and discriminatory feelings and sentiments to be deemed acceptable.

In our communities, anti-immigrant protests are on the rise and Islamophobia is resulting in horrendous violence so now, more than ever, we must bring people together across the country to #UniteAgainstRacism – there are many Saskatchewan events in recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and we encourage you to join:

  • Racism in the Healthcare System: Yin Paradies & Rose Roberts – Join the College of Medicine, Division of Social Accountability, where this presentation will begin by defining racism and its various manifestations, followed by an overview of how racism can impact the provision of healthcare, including contributing to health disparities for minority groups. To conclude, strategies for responding to racism as healthcare providers, in the health system and in society more generally will be discussed. WHEN: March 21 from 12:30-1:30pm at the Saskatoon Health Sciences Building GB03. Click here for the Facebook event.
  • Solidarity Vigil for Christchurch - Join us for a vigil in solidarity with and in honour of the victims who lost their lives in two shootings at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand last Friday. WHEN: March 21 at Regina City Hall from 6:00-7:00pm. Click here for the Facebook event.
  • Interfaith Reflections & Prayers for New Zealand: Standing Against Violence and Terrorism – join the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan to express our Unity over Division, Faith over Fear, and Love over Hatred. WHEN: March 21 from 6:00-9:00pm at the Islamic Center Saskatoon (222 Copland Cres).
  • Rock Against Racism Saskatoon presents: Spring Solidarity Concert - In honour of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Rock Against Racism Saskatoon will host a fun night of music, solidarity, and celebration of diversity in our community. WHEN: Saturday, March 23 at Amigos Cantina in Saskatoon – doors open at 8pm. Click here for the Facebook event.
  • Overcoming Discrimination: When We are the Other - A Courageous Conversation about Diversity, Inclusion and Understanding. WHEN: Saturday, March 23 at the Wesley United Church in Regina from 10:00am-3:00pm. Click here for the Facebook event

The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan has also put together a useful Show Racism the Door activity kit in recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This kit includes ’12 Things You Can Do To Address Racism’ – we encourage you to read and do your part in confronting racism:

  1. Be aware of your privileges (as well as ways you are disadvantaged). Break the invisibility of privilege.
  2. Listen, listen, LISTEN!
  3. Take responsibility without being defensive when your actions are questioned. Ask questions and learn more about power in any situation.
  4. Work towards liberating yourself from supporting oppression.
  5. Try to help others with similar privileges understand how power, privilege and oppression work.
  6. Unlearn prejudices and stereotypes. This is a lifelong process. Join with others on this journey towards change.
  7. Canada’s colonial legacy is everyone’s responsibility. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has 94 Calls to Action. Read them. Make a personal commitment to one (or more) that is meaningful to you. 
  8. Realize that feeling guilty is very unhelpful for everyone and that a useful role is to take part in recognizing and rejecting racism/oppression.
  9. If you hear an oppressive comment or see an example of oppression, be an ally, not a bystander.
  10. Try to avoid the trap of “knowing what is good for them” for members of oppressed groups.
  11. Learn what you can about an oppressed group – read, ask questions, listen. But do not expect everybody to be willing to teach you now that you are ready to learn.
  12. Be yourself. Do not try to claim the roots and connections that a history of oppression can give to a community, if it is not your own. The best thing you can do is to dig into your roots, history, connections.


Celebrate Cardiology Technologist Day!

Hearts and Valentine’s Day go hand in hand, so it’s fitting that we celebrate those who look after our hearts on February 14 by recognizing Cardiology Technologist Day!

Tami, a member of SEIU-West, works at Royal University Hospital as a Cardiology Technologist. Cardiology Technologists like Tami are an integral part of the health care team – by caring for our hearts, they help to ensure this vital organ in our bodies is well looked after. Cardiology Technologists test, monitor and assess heart performance. They also engage in difficult techniques of heart monitoring and ensure proper preparation for patients by explaining procedures.  They ensure patient comfort and safety during procedures. They are trained to provide resuscitation measures when needed as well. Cardiology Technologists must also keep up to date and adapt to modernized technologies as they help to maintain health care equipment.

Cardiology Technologists are able to examine heart conditions; they provide preventative measures and immediate actions to reduce harm to one’s heart. Tami appreciates her important role on the health care team as she enjoys all aspects of patient care, including the everyday interactions she has with her patients and their families. She especially values the ability to help patients with her education and knowledge.

SEIU-West is proud to acknowledge and celebrate February 14 as Cardiology Technologist Day and in recognition, we want you to tell us why Cardiology Technologists are important to you. Share the love of Cardiology Technologists by sending your responses to [email protected] by February 22, 2019 for your chance to win a gift card! And on February 14, help SEIU-West thank Cardiology Technologists for all their hard work and dedication.

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

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