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.

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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SaskParty Government Chooses Private, For-Profit Business over Local Health Care Providers

SEIU-West (Service Employees International Union) responded with shock and growing dismay to recent public statements from Minister of Health Don McMorris regarding the utilization of private surgical care options to reduce backlogs. This reaction comes as a result of information released this week that the SaskParty government is exploring privatization options rather than investing to enhance the public provision of diagnostic tests such as MRIs and CT scans. As well, the SaskParty government is proposing to perform surgeries in private, forprofit clinics. (more…)

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Health employers present disgraceful offer and cancel conciliation

Saskatchewan – Conciliation talks on behalf of 25,000 health care providers in the province collapsed this afternoon after the Saskatchewan government and the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO) presented a “take it or leave it offer” to conciliator Doug Forseth, cancelled bargaining dates, and then contacted the media. (more…)

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Minister lacks respect

By Nicole Neufeld, The StarPhoenix

This letter appeared on November 2, 2009

Re: Union criticizes essential services law (SP, Oct. 27). As a special care aide at a long-term care facility, I think it’s ridiculous for Health Minister Don McMorris to assume that patients could travel to another nearby facility for the services they require. (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.


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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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Request for arbitration rejected

Health-care workers will be back on the picket line – perhaps as soon as today – after the union’s call for its contract dispute to be sent to independent binding arbitration was rejected. (more…)

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Behind the Billboard – Health Care Sector

Private for Profit  = Cuts in Public Funding?

By Lisa Zunti

As an SEIU-West member who works as a Licensed Practical Nurse on a surgical care unit, I have been attending meetings of the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative Guiding Coalition for over two years under the direction of our current provincial government mandate.  As a committed health care professional, I was excited at the prospect of such opportunity to actively influence future solutions to increase surgeries within our health care system.  Unfortunately, I come away from these meetings with feelings of despair and futility. (more…)

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