Treatment of Health Care Workers

While the current government has had success in recruiting Registered Nurses (because they’ve made it a clear priority and actually devoted resources
to it), they have placed no emphasis on addressing severe shortages in
other classifications within the health care sector.
In fact, despite the fact that the several positions filled by SEIU-West members (including LPN, Lab Techs, Special Care Aides, and Operating Room Techs) are now listed as “hard to recruit” positions, SEIU-West’s position that appropriate market adjustments for these
positions needed to be included in the most recent contract were firmly
rejected by the health regions and the provincial government.
These staff shortages result in health care workers being run ragged,
stretched too thin, and facing overwhelming workloads. And despite the
best efforts of health care workers, these staff shortages affect the
quality of care for patients and residents. This is a vicious cycle
which leaves health care workers even more demoralized.
In 2007, there were 87 physician vacancies here. Now there are approximately 125 physican vacancies in Saskatchewan (
That’s an increase of 44%! According to the Saskatchewan Medical
Association, doctor shortages in our province have reached “crisis
levels.” Last year, just 26 of the 59 medical graduates from the
University of Saskatchewan stayed in our province for residency programs
— this is the lowest rate in the entire country. Unfortunately,
recruitment and retention of physicians has largely been left up to
communities. Rather than having a balanced, centralized approach to
recruitment and retention, local communities have spent hundreds of
thousands of dollars to recruit and retain physician. For example,
Nipawin spent nearly $800,000.

Health staff issue

By Shelly Banks, The StarPhoenix November 2, 2011

I sure hope that Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party are not convincing the general public that they have increased staffing levels in the health sector.

As a health provider, my experience is that they have tried to address staffing issues for registered nurses, while the rest struggle. The public ought to know that there are staff shortages regularly in such hands-on care classifications as special care aides and licensed practical nurses.

Visit a community nursing home and you will see it for yourself. Those who work in diagnostic classifications are routinely required to work overtime. Critical retention and recruitment issues have been largely ignored. (more…)

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Health union raises concern about layoff plan

By David Hutton, The StarPhoenix October 26, 2011

The Saskatoon Health Region says there is no “hidden agenda” for health-care layoffs after the provincial election.

The Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS) said Tuesday the union is concerned about potential job cuts following a notice letter sent in early October to discuss the proposed layoff of an addictions counsellor for children and youth from mental health and addictions services.

The region refused a meeting until after the election, the union contends, putting “politics” above jobs. (more…)

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Care givers are burned out

At the time of the initial posting, the website source ( was not available. For now you can read this article as a PDF: Caregivers are burned out

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Incredible claim

By Shawna Colpitts, The StarPhoenix October 28, 2011

Labour Minister Don Morgan said in a TV interview on Oct. 21 that his government’s essential services law was done in a manner respectful of unions and union workers.

Does he really believe that health-care providers felt respected when they waited 27 months for a contract? They were force-fed rollbacks in exchange for a paltry wage increase, only to discover weeks later that some outof-scope employees and CEOs were lined up for 60 per cent increases? (more…)

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Saskatchewan Leaders Debate

By Barbara Cape

I spent my Tuesday evening watching the recent leader’s debate for our provincial election and I’ve got a few thoughts I wanted to share with you.

First of all, a true Leader’s Debate should include the leaders of all political parties: SaskParty, NDP, Greens and Liberals. Each have valuable points of view that we should all hear, regardless of the ‘market share’ outcome. I am disappointed that the media coordinated this debate and created rules to limit the participants.

I don’t know who ‘won’ or ‘lost’ this debate, but I did think that it was interesting that Mr. Wall wanted to ‘fact check’ Mr. Lingenfelter’s comments. I’d like to do the same. I’m not sure if they realize but the majority of the work being done in the healthcare system is done by the whole team – and that team includes technologists, LPN’s, special care aides, environmental and food services workers, admin and maintenance staff… it’s all of us who make up the healthcare experience. (more…)

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Letter to the Editor: Build health team

By Judy Denniss, The StarPhoenix October 3, 2011

It always sparks my inter-est when Health Minister Don McMorris makes public statements.

He was recently reported saying Saskatchewan has passed regulations to expand the scope for nurse practitioners, and noted the government had addressed retention and recruitment issues for one health-care classification – registered nurses.

What he doesn’t tell the general public is this: The province has also passed regulations to expand the scope for licensed practical nurses, necessitating all LPNs to complete additional education requirements. If they don’t complete the education at personal cost by a given date, they are put on an administrative leave without pay. (more…)

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New Identification Requirements at the Polls

Provincial Election poster Photo ID YFS version

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Questions for Candidates Running in the Provincial Election

Printable PDF of Questions for candidates


Essential Service legislation (Bill 5) and changes to The Trade Union Act (Bill 6) have created unfairness for all public sector workers. It took away the right to strike, and made it impossible to achieve a fair collective agreement. It took away the right to organize, and it invited employers like SAHO (Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations) to waste thousands of tax payer dollars on media campaigns against health care workers. What are you planning to do about Bill 5 & Bill 6? (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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