Fairness for Workers

The International Labour Organization, a United Nations body consisting of 186 countries, condemned the Sask Party government and told it to “go back to the drawing board and rewrite two pieces of labour legislation … in full consideration of and co-operation with the affected workers and labour groups” (Leader-Post, March 30/10). The UN criticized Bill 5 (which unfairly limits the bargaining power of public servants and takes away their right to strike — meaning that they’ve lost their bargaining power) and Bill 6 (which erodes democracy and freedom for workers and gives employers more power to impede workers from joining unions). But those are not the only ways in which the Sask Party government is hurting the working families of Saskatchewan. Here are a few others:

  • Minimum Wage: The previous NDP government released a plan to index the minimum wage to inflation (when the cost-of-living goes up, so does the minimum wage), but the Sask Party government rejected that plan and has so far refused to index the minimum wage.
  • Minimum Age: The Sask Party lowered the minimum working age in our province, removing restrictions that barred children from working.
  • Bill 43: In an attack on free speech, the Sask Party forced through legislation to limit the right of workers to hold peaceful rallies, protests and demonstrations.
  • Bill 80: Despite the fact that there has not been a strike in the construction industry for 17 years, the Sask Party government forced through Bill 80. This law is destabilizing the construction industry, taking money from Saskatchewan workers and contractors and sending it out-of-province.
  • Bill 160: The Sask Party government has changed human rights legislation in our province. Among the changes they made is the eliminatation of human rights tribunals, a model which ensured human rights concerns were addressed by an expert panel and in an accessible manner. Now, such concerns must be brought to a court. The changes have drawn harsh criticism from Amnesty International.

Premier Brad Wall once said he would “go to war” with working people. This is one promise he appears to be keeping. Now even the United Nations says that Saskatchewan workers deserve better.

We’re not all ‘on track’ with the good times

By Verda Petry, The Leader-Post July 11, 2011

Was it a joke? tongue-in-cheek? Surely no one would pay for a fullpage colour ad as a joke. I refer to the On Track Saskatchewan ad (June 28). I wondered – for whom is Saskatchewan “on track”? I let my eyes drop to the bottom of the page where I found the answer: Provincial chambers of commerce, Association of Saskatchewan Realtors, Certified General and Management Accountants, Canadian Home Builders Association. For these groups Saskatchewan is “on track”. (more…)

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Letter to the Editor: Essential Services

This letter to the editor about the effects of the Essential services law on health care workers was written by SEIU-West member Linda Cuell in May 26,2010: LTE Linda Cuell Essential Services Legislation

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Union slams SAHO

Click the following link to read this article which appeared on July 14, 2010 in the Star Phoenix: Union slams SAHO

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Letter to the Editor: Who Gets the Jump and Who Ends Up with the SAHO competitive wages?

March 15, 2011

This letter was published in the Star Phoenix on March 19, 2011 under the title: “Different Expectations

It was recently reported in the Star-Phoenix that Maura Davies, CEO for Saskatoon Health Region, will receive a pay increase in 2011-2012 that will put her over $400,000 annually because she is ‘exceeding the expectations’ of Saskatoon RHA Board Chair Jim Rhode. This article clearly sets out that Ms. Davies annual salary since her start year in 2005 has more than doubled. Who gets twice the salary in six short years? I would guess that Saskatchewan Association of Health Organization (SAHO) executive salaries have experienced similar jumps. Is this because they too have exceeded the expectations set out for them? (more…)

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Health region CEOs getting huge raises: NDP

CBC News: Posted: Apr 19, 2011 2:12 PM CST

The NDP Opposition says the Saskatchewan government is paying huge raises to highly paid health region CEOs and not enough to front-line workers.

New Democrat leader Dwain Lingenfelter told the legislature this week that the the CEO of the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region recently received a 60 per cent pay increase.

Lingenfelter also said the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region paid a $71,000 increase to its CEO. At the Saskatoon Health Region, the CEO got an increase of $100,000 in one year and is now being paid over $400,000 a year, Lingenfelter said. (more…)

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Poll shows strong public support for health care providers

Saskatchewan – A new poll shows strong public support for health care providers in their contract dispute with the Saskatchewan government and health employers.

The Viewpoints Research Survey commissioned by CUPE, SEIU and SGEU, shows 61.2 per cent of Saskatchewan residents support health care providers, while only 21.8 per cent support the government and health employers. (more…)

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HSAS strike continues in Saskatoon, Regina, P.A.

By Janet French, The StarPhoenix June 23, 2011

Rotating strikes by Saskatchewan health professionals are continuing Thursday in Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Regina.

The Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS) says about 400 workers are off the job in the three cities, and are picketing in front of Regina’s Pasqua Hospital, along College Drive in Saskatoon, and outside Prince Albert’s Victoria Hospital.

“Our rotating strike action — now the longest health-care strike in Saskatchewan history — is continuing because there is no indication from either SAHO (the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations) or the (Brad) Wall government that they are prepared to resume meaningful negotiations or accept our request to send this contract dispute to independent, interest-based, binding arbitration,” (more…)

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The story of the billboards

What inspired these ads? Quite simply, our members. The work SEIU-West members do is a valuable contribution to the day-to-day life of the people of Saskatchewan.

(more…)

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Letter to the Editor: Disrespect Shows

The team arrived on our street on Aug. 27, going door to door to solicit support for our Saskatchewan Party MLA, Ken Cheveldayoff.

When the fellow arrived in my yard, he asked if I would be supporting Cheveldayoff in the upcoming provincial election. I told him that I am a health-care worker and his reply was: “Well, we won’t hold that against you.” (more…)

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Sask. Party NDP Spar over electoral position

The Saskatchewan Party government has pushed through legislation that will suppress voting while not making recommended changes to improve voter accessibility, the NDP charged this week.

Opposition justice critic Frank Quennell said the province is heading into the fall election campaign without moving on the recommendations of the province’s chief electoral officer and without the usual overhaul of The Election Act that occurs between provincial votes. (more…)

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