On November 10, SEIU-West, SGEU, and CUPE sent a letter to Everett Hindley, the Minster for Seniors and Rural and Remote Health, about his government's misleading claims about their promise to hire more Continuing Care Assistants.
Sent via email
November 10, 2021
Mr. Everett Hindley
Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health Minister
208, Legislative Building
2405 Legislative Drive
Regina, SK S4S 0B3
Mr. Andre Moss
Executive Director of Continuing
Saskatchewan Health Authority
Saskatoon City Hospital – 701 Queen Street
Saskatoon, SK S7K 0M7
Dear Mr. Moss and Mr. Hindley:
Re: Ninety-Five Additional Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Continuing Care Assistants
We read, with great interest, the government’s press release on November 8, 2021, titled Ninety Five Additional Full Time Equivalent Continuing Care Assistants Now Working in Saskatchewan, where you were each quoted.
We request additional information on these new Continuing Care Assistant (CCA) positions in Saskatchewan. We note that there are 85 positions announced in long-term care (five are subject to ongoing recruitment efforts, for a potential total of 90). Those positions are shared between the Saskatchewan Health Authority, the affiliates, and contracted operators.
Could you please provide us with the breakdown of how many additional positions have been created in which of the facilities and the FTE of each newly created position?
We further note that the SHA has hired the equivalent of 10 full-time CCAs to work in home care (with an additional eight yet to be filled). Please provide information on how many actual positions this is, the FTE of each new position, and to which communities these home care CCAs were recruited.
Please make every effort to pass this request along to the person or persons most suited to provide the information.
If we have read the release correctly, these positions have been spread very thinly across the province, and we are interested in how that was done. There are approximately 160 special care homes in Saskatchewan. Forty-three of them are sharing the additional 85 positions. The 10 positions allotted to home care are spread across 22 communities. Even if we extend the number to the not yet realized 18 positions, we are looking at less than one position per community.
The Provider Unions Bargaining Association supports the recruitment of CCAs. We know that the challenge of working short every day has been a physical and mental burden to our members for many years. We recognize before COVID there was a need for additional CCAs, but since the pandemic this need has grown substantially.
We fear that your announcement does not acknowledge or address what we know. We know that there are many unfilled vacancies for CCAs across the province. There are positions that have been vacant for months, posted and reposted, postings that simply remain up but never filled, or postings simply cancelled. These newly announced positions don’t appear to be the fulfillment of the Premier’s promise of 300 new CCAs but simply the filling of current vacancies.
Is there a plan to address the recruitment and retention issues for CCAs?
President, CUPE Local 5430
Acting Bargaining Chair
SGEU – Health Providers
Cc: Scott Moe, Premier of Saskatchewan
Scott Livingstone, Chief Executive Officer, Saskatchewan Health Authority