SEIU-West was invited to respond to the Saskatchewan government's review of Saskatchewan's occupational health and safety legislation.
We prepared and submitted a response brief that was informed by:
- Consultations with SEIU-West staff and leadership, to ensure that our submission
incorporated the experiences of workers in unorganized, newly-organized, and long-organized workplaces; and
- An online survey of SEIU-West members, focusing on those who have recently served on
their workplace’s Occupational Health Committee (OHC). (Thanks to all of you who participated.)
The submission identifies multiple issues with Saskatchewan’s OH&S legislation (specifically the Saskatchewan Employment Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations). We ask that the government act to address such issues as:
- unsafe staffing
- the unique hazards faced by home care staff
- lack of access to training for Occupational Health Committee members
- Saskatchewan's low minimum wage
- the right to refuse unsafe work
All of the issues that the recommendations are designed to address existed well before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. All of these issues have been made worse by the pandemic, though how much worse is not always apparent, as workers have borne down and silently soldiered on in response to the daily demands of pandemic life. All of these issues must be addressed as a central part of recovery from the pandemic, if our workforce, especially in the caring sectors in which SEIU-West is particularly prominent, is to survive and thrive.
If as a member you have questions, concerns, or additional information not covered in our submission, please contact our Research Coordinator Karman Kawchuk at [email protected].