Mission

The mission of the SEIU-West Young Workers Committee is to engage and unite young union members to become more active and knowledgeable in the labour movement.

Our goal is to mobilize young workers across Saskatchewan to become leaders and activists for social change within their unions and communities at large.

Through support, unity and encouragement, we help develop skills for young worker leadership today.

Community Involvement

Involvement from the Young Workers’ Committee in the community is a priority because it is an opportunity to meet the people we live with and work for. Unions have a strong relationship to their communities, and it is important to have Young Workers present. Our committee will strive to ensure a presence at both urban and rural solidarity events, such as: Labour Day events, Sidewalk Day festivals, and Homecomings.

We also get to show them that union members contribute to vibrant communities.

Committee Members

Committee Members

Jenna Hnatiuk - Nutrition Services, Shaunavon Hospital & Care Centre 306.750.7211 Co-Chair

Darby McComb- CCA, Nokomis Health Centre 306.450.1439 Recording Secretary

Carly Orellana - Switchboard Operator, Royal University Hospital (Saskatoon)

Nicole Warn - Laundry Service Worker, Sherbrook Care Centre (Saskatoon) Co-Chair

Top Officer: 
Jason Monteith

Staff Representative:
Kate McDaid

Click here to view our YWC brochure! 

SURVEY: Young Worker Experiences During COVID-19

This International Youth Day (August 12), the SEIU-West Young Workers Committee (YWC) has launched a survey in order to determine young worker experiences during COVID-19 in Saskatchewan. 
The survey should only take 10 minutes, and all young worker participants (35 and under) who are members of SEIU-West will be entered to win one of three Samsung Galaxy tablets! You may only fill out the survey once to be entered.  

DEADLINE (extended): September 8, 2020
DRAW: September 10, 2020 

Complete the survey here

The responses will be used in a return letter from the YWC to elected officials.

Shining A Light On...Mental Health and Addiction

By Janell Kachuik, Co-chair – Young Worker Committee (YWC)

The SEIU-West Young Workers Committee (YWC) is shining a light on issues that often get pushed into the shadows and aims to break down stigma associated with important issues in our communities.

Mental health and addiction are topics that people don’t like to talk about due to the stigma around them, but we need to stop fearing it and start embracing it. As Canadians, 1 in 5 experience a mental illness or addiction problem. Roughly 50% of individuals with severe mental disorders are affected by substance use. We have to stop believing that mental health and addictions are just going to get better without treatment.

Young people are more likely to experience mental health and substance use disorder than any other age group. The question is, how can we help? Don’t give up on them, make sure that they know they are loved – sometimes they have to hit rock bottom before they get help.

I’m one of those young people. My name is Janell – I’m the Co-Chair of the SEIU-West Young Workers Committee (YWC) and I suffer from depression and anxiety. It started in high school and it was really bad. I started to cut – first it was on my legs so people couldn’t see but then I started to cut my wrist – to me it was a way to release what I was feeling because when I cut it took my pain away for a little bit. I had stopped but then I started working in a workplace where I was the only person under the age of 30 and was feeling isolated. The way I would cover it up is wearing long sleeve clothing and if someone would ask me about it, I would say I fell.

In 2015 it got really bad. A year when I should have been happy and enjoying life. But in October my life changed and I started cutting. I wasn’t able to sleep. I wasn’t talking or being myself. I finally decided to end things, but with the help of my family and friends I’m still here. They started to see the signs, and told me to get help – my family had to tell me that they didn’t want a headstone, they wanted me.

The first step was to get a doctor to listen, and this doctor took me off work and then made it so I couldn’t be alone. The doctor started me on medications, and with the help of my mother I was able to get into counselling. I started going twice a week then I went to three times a week – one session was one-on-one and the other was in a group setting.

There are things you can do to get on the road to recovery. With the right support, self-help and treatment, you can overcome a re-occurring disorder, reclaim your sense of self and get your life back on track. What’s important is that we’re creating a supportive environment where people know they can ask for help.

If you need support, call 211 or go to https://sk.211.ca/ to find mental health and addictions support services across Saskatchewan.

Young Workers Committee Vacancy: Apply Now!

A vacancy has arisen on the SEIU-West Young Workers Committee so we are inviting interested members to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) form to fill this vacancy.

The successful applicants will have the opportunity to expand their union involvement and activism in this position, and play an active role in engaging young workers into our union.

If you are interested in applying, please complete this online form or this pdf EOI form and submit it to Barb Cape’s attention by Monday, January 13, 2019 via email: [email protected] or fax: 306 652 1392.

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women: The SEIU-West Young Workers Committee (YWC) wants you to take action to stop violence against women

December 6th – the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women – is meant to mark the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal who were killed because they were women. December 6 acts as a day to recognize and stop the ongoing gender-based violence women experience in Canada, and to ensure awareness and progress towards concrete solutions in eliminating violence against women.

In recognition of the National Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women in Canada, the SEIU-West YWC encourages you to do your part in raising awareness on violence against women and to demonstrate your solidarity for those who provide support to women in need. You can do that by participating in their contest – plus you could win one of three pairs of earrings from Hillberg & Berk; proceeds of which go to survivors of domestic violence in Saskatchewan. There are two chances to be entered to win:

  1. Send picture of yourself or a group of SEIU-West members wearing red on December 6th by email to [email protected] 
  2. Donate to your local woman’s shelter – you can take a picture of your donated items and email [email protected] or bring donated items to your local SEIU-West office in Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, or Swift Current! 

The deadline to enter is December 14, 2019!

For a list of requested items for women's shelters, visit the Moose Jaw Transition House donations list, the Saskatoon Interval House donations list, and the South West Crisis Services website

 

Shining A Light On...Pharmacare

By Brittney Servetnyk, Young Worker Committee Member 

My name is Brittney Servetnyk I work in Saskatoon as a Continuing Care Assistant in a long-term care facility. I am also on the Young Workers Committee (YWC) with SEIU-West. The Federal Election is coming up quickly on October 21st 2019. I am voting because I want a government that ensures us with Pharmacare, fair wages and fair housing costs. Its important to vote because its our right as Canadians to vote from the young age of 18 years and up. I find it especially important to vote as a female as the right for a female to vote was fought so hard by women in the early 1900's.The decisions the government make affect absolutely everyone. We all have a voice in who our government is, and can hold them accountable for their actions while in office. Your vote matters! Check out this interview about pharmacare I did in support of our YWC Shining A Light On initiative and the upcoming election: 

Pharmacare: A drug insurance plan that belongs to all Canadians – one that is sustainable and equitable – where Canadians have access to prescription medications based on their need and not their ability to pay.

When we go to the Doctor we hand them our provincial health card and expenses are covered.

Getting to the pharmacy is when the anxiety really hits, as many begin to crunch numbers in our head and think, "Do I really need this medicine? Can it wait a little longer? Do I skip groceries bills or rent?”

Some people are fortunate enough to be able to hand the pharmacist a drug insurance card whether it be through work (often thanks to their union) or a secondary insurance company. But even then some medications still come with cost, or sometimes a medication isn’t recognized under your plan.

A lack of universal prescription drug coverage – Pharmacare – is causing many people skip doses, split pills, or skip their medications entirely just to get by. This not only leads to a decline in a person’s mental and physical health, but fills our emergency departments as well.

Now imagine a future where your provincial health card is used at the pharmacy and prescription costs are covered just like a visit to your Doctor’s office… this is possible with Pharmacare.

Canadians pay one of the highest prescription costs and we are currently the only developed country with universal health care that does not include prescription drug coverage.

As workers we need to contact our MPs and elected leaders in order to stress the importance of a strong, healthier future with Pharmacare. Be sure to ask your federal candidate where they stand on Pharmacare!

Interview between Brittney (YWC Co-Chair) and Matt Winacott (Primary Care Paramedic)

Q: What does a future with Pharmacare look like?

A: A future with Pharmacare includes healthier citizens with more money in their pockets, who don’t have to worry about being able to afford their medications. Canadians would use their provincial health card at the pharmacy as they would at the hospital with no cost. When people don’t skip their medications due to financial burden both their physical and mental health improve.

Q: Who would be eligible to receive Pharmacare?

A: All Canadians would be eligible.

Q: How many residents are going without medications or skipping doses?

A: 1 in 5 Canadians are unable to fill their prescriptions due to cost.

Q: As a young worker in health care yourself, why is Pharmacare so important?

A: From my own experience in health care, I have seen people make tough decisions to go without their medications to pay for food or rent. Pharmacare is important because when you're working hard to make ends meet or bettering your life going to school or trying to afford child care, you shouldn’t have to worry about medical expenses.

 

International Youth Day: August 12

Each year International Youth Day is recognized August 12 and SEIU-West is proud to share that we stand with young workers in our union and communities. We know they are experiencing soaring rent, tuition, inequality, and the growth of precarious work among many other struggles. Our Young Workers Committee is very active in raising awareness and taking action on these issues -  we're proud of the work they do and are excited for their future efforts! Check out the Young Workers Committee page to read their latest 'Shining A Light On' articles which focus on issues like mental health: https://www.seiuwest.ca/young_workers

World Environment Day: YWC Challenge

In recognition of World Environment Day on June 5, your SEIU-West Young Workers Committee (YWC) encourages you to get involved in the daily efforts that are calling for a sustainable planet for current and future generations.

Every week, young people from around the world have been taking a lead in climate change awareness by striking against climate inaction, a tactic those in the labour movement are very familiar with. These strikes are a part of a larger movement that began in 2018 when Greta Thunberg, a teenager from Sweden, led the first student’s climate strike. Over time, her actions gained more attention and now, we’re seeing kids walk out of school on Fridays for the aptly named, Fridays for Future, in the hopes that our governments around the world will listen.  In countless reports, kids are telling us they’re fighting for their lives as they take to the streets to demand action on climate change. They are aware that they will bear the brunt of climate change impacts, and they want to see immediate action by decision makers.

In late 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report that warned that without serious, coordinated international cooperation and action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, it is almost certain our planet would warm by over 1.5 degrees Celsius – the impacts of this warming would be catastrophic. In order to prevent the coinciding drought, floods, extreme heat and ill-health that would come with going beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius, we need to take big steps to reduce our emissions by 2030 – just 11 years from now.  

People around the world are listening to these kids and developing plans like the Green New Deal, “a bold and far reaching plan to cut emissions in half in 11 years in line with Indigenous knowledge and climate science, create more than a million good jobs you can support a family with, and build inclusive communities in the process.” Recently, hundreds of communities across Canada held Green New Deal Town Halls, and the people are developing the Deal to improve our future. 

These Town Halls contained brainstorming for both blue line ideas and green line ideas – the blue line ideas represent individual actions we can take, like talking to our neighbours about the impacts of climate change, reducing/eliminating the use of plastic, or composting. The blue line ideas are big picture/policy ideas and the results from this line are the ones that can make the big difference – fair taxation to fund a transition to renewable energy, creating nationalized public transit, re-training for affected fossil fuel workers, ending fossil fuel subsidies, or getting involved in CUPW’s Delivering Community Power initiative.

The SEIU-West YWC knows you need to take both individual and systemic action to address our climate crisis, so in recognition of World Environment Day, the SEIU-West is hosting a challenge and by entering, you’ll be entered to win some awesome prizes!

Tell us: what ideas do you have to create the big change we need to address climate change (green line)? And what steps have you made or are currently making at home or at work that will help to improve our planet (blue line)?

Send [email protected] your green blue/green ideas for your chance to win:

  • Frontier Days Swift Current:
    • 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 

Deadline to enter: June 16, 2019

And please visit the Saskatchewan Environmental Society and/or Climate Justice Saskatoon for more information – these organizations are always looking to grow! It is also important that you support workers affected by climate action. Please visit Iron and Earth, an organization of oil sands workers who want to transition into renewable energy development. If you know someone who works in the oil sands, please share this initiative with them in the hopes we can have a similar organization in Saskatchewan!

Celebrate Pride!

Each June, SEIU-West celebrates Pride Month to support all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two spirit, questioning and queer people in Saskatchewan and around the world! As a union that strives to achieve a more just society for all, we ask that you join us in celebrating the contributions to social justice the LGBT2Q+ movement has achieved.

This year is a particularly momentous Pride Month as 2019 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a historic uprising that is widely considered to be a vital event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern struggle for LGBT2Q+ rights in North America. Within two years of the Stonewall uprising, LGBT2Q+ rights groups were formed all over America, Canada, Australia and Western Europe. Today, the legacy of the Stonewall Riots lives on around the world in every pride march, celebration, and struggle to achieve LGBT2Q+ equality and justice. 

In recognition of Pride Month, we encourage you to join Pride Month activists around the province - check out Saskatoon PrideQueen City Pride and in rural communities, check out Saskatchewan Pride Network’s events for more information on what’s happening around Saskatchewan.

And if you’re interested in marching in the Saskatoon Pride Parade, let us know by emailing [email protected]! SEIU-West will have a group of purple to show our pride at this event on June 22. 

In recognition of Pride Month, we are also holding a SEIU-West Pride Contest! In order to be entered to win, here’s what you have to do:

  1. Send a selfie of you at a local Pride event to [email protected] OR
  2. Write a few sentences why or/and how you celebrate Pride Month
  3. BONUS: do both 1 and 2 to get two entries into the draw!

Those who participate will be entered to win one of the following:

  • 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 

Deadline to enter: July 14, 2019

Good Luck!

Shining A Light On: 'Man Up Against Violence' Campaign

By Cassidy Stynsky, Young Worker Committee Member

The SEIU-West Young Workers Committee (YWC) is shining a light on issues that often get pushed into the shadows and aims to break down stigma associated with important issues in our communities. In the last installment, the YWC shone a light on domestic violence.

Not only is the YWC shining the light on the campaign Man Up, we are hoping members of SEIU-West will join us in our mission to help redefine what it means to Man Up.

If you don’t know, Man Up is a global challenge and movement that is trying to redefine, reconstruct, and educate society on all types of violence.

With this movement, organizers are educating and working with youth on how to stop gender-based violence, while also promoting gender equality.

The initiative of Man Up is to challenge the stigma, educate, and confront the effects of hyper-masculinity in society.

The YWC has chosen this campaign due to our belief that enforced gender roles should be challenged – it’s okay to be who you are without societal pressures dictating how you should behave.

Man Up hosts and connects with many organizations to provide a voice and education on how to reduce and stop violence – whether it be in the workplace or elsewhere.

This movement is important for all SEIU-West workplaces whether you’re male, female or however you identify; we should be respectful and eliminate violence.

Educating each other on how to redefine what it means to Man Up will improve – if not challenge – those who have experienced violence to use their voice and advocate for those who may feel trapped.

For more information, visit https://www.manupcampaign.org/

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