REGINA: The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is urging the provincial government to implement an integrated, fully public ground emergency medical response system.

The government is currently undertaking a system review of ground emergency medical services (EMS) in Saskatchewan. Submissions are due by July 31, 2017.

The announcement in January of this year that the provincial government will replace the 12 existing health regions with one single provincial health authority has prompted CUPE to respond in kind with its own restructuring.

On March 7, 2017, Premier Wall announced that the government had set a target to cut overall public sector worker compensation by 3.5 per cent.

Government officials have stated that the 3.5 per cent reduction target “is an expectation of school divisions, the post-secondary sector, health regions, crowns, ministers, and other government agencies.”

These rollbacks come on top of a provincial budget that hurt working families and rewarded corporations and high income earners with tax cuts. The government’s cuts to K-12 education, municipalities, post-secondary education, and the Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) will have devastating consequences for working families in this province. The government could have chosen to support public services and to grow and diversify the economy without making drastic cuts.

Dear CUPE Health Care Member:

Your CUPE Bargaining Committee resumed collective bargaining with SAHO July 4-6, 2017 in Saskatoon.

CUPE told SAHO that there is absolutely no justification for the provincial government’s draconian mandate of a 3.5 per cent reduction in public sector compensation costs followed by three years of zero per cent increases. Your Bargaining Committee provided SAHO with a list of positive economic and financial indicators, most of which are highlighted by the Government of Saskatchewan’s own news releases and provincial budget.

REGINA: The CUPE Saskatchewan Health Care Council has released a report which indicates that increased workload and understaffing of medical technologists and technicians are putting them under extreme pressure and could compromise patient care. CUPE medical technologists and technicians provide essential services such as prepping medication, providing blood tests, X-rays, CT and MRI scans, and other diagnostic tests.

The report, titled Under Pressure: Report on the Workload of CUPE Medical Technologists and Technicians in Saskatchewan, is based on an intensive online survey of CUPE members who work as medical technologists and technicians.

CUPE Local 5999 hosted Estevan’s first ever National Aboriginal Day celebration. The event featured a free barbeque lunch, Aboriginal dances, and many community tables. The event was open to everyone in the community.

“Our union is proud to celebrate National Aboriginal Day and to host this event in Estevan,” said Wanda Edwards, acting president of CUPE Local 5999. “Today and every day it is important to celebrate the vibrant and unique cultures of Indigenous peoples and to commit to the reconciliation process.”

National Aboriginal Day is time to celebrate the vibrant and unique cultures of Indigenous peoples, as First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities graciously share their ceremonies, customs and heritage with us all.

It is also a time for us to recommit ourselves to promoting truth and reconciliation. Canadians must fully and openly recognize the historical and ongoing harm Canada has inflicted through its failed policies and laws to assimilate Indigenous peoples. We must respect the rights of Indigenous peoples to their traditional and unceded territories, and we must acknowledge their histories on these lands – histories that date back far beyond 150 years.

 Dear CUPE Health Care Member:

Your CUPE Bargaining Committee resumed collective bargaining with SAHO June 13-14, 2017.

Once again, CUPE strongly urged SAHO to reconsider the sweeping list of concessions they have tabled in this round of bargaining. Your Bargaining Committee told the employer that SAHO’s package is not respectful of our members and that it would take us backwards, not forward. 

First ever health care council telephone town hall huge success

Over 1,000 health care providers participated in the CUPE Saskatchewan Health Care Council’s first ever telephone town hall.

This innovative technology allowed for the council to invite every member with a working phone number to a one hour meeting about bargaining. Participants heard updates from president, Sandra Seitz, and CUPE health care coordinator, Patty Brockman.

Dear CUPE Health Care Member:

Your CUPE Bargaining Committee resumed collective bargaining with SAHO May 30-31 and June 1, 2017 in Regina.

As reported in our last communique, SAHO tabled a common proposal package with CUPE, SEIU-West, and SGEU which contains a sweeping list of concessions and takeaways.

SAHO’s bargaining package sets out a four-year collective agreement that includes an overall reduction in compensation costs of 4.09 percent. This includes a wage rollback of one percent in 2017-2018 and three consecutive years of zero percent increases. SAHO was clear with the Provider Coalition that the wage reduction in the first year could be higher if SAHO’s monetary concessions are removed from the table. More details on SAHO’s proposals can be found in our document CUPE Health Care Bargaining: Understanding the Proposals, which can be found on our website.