Letter to the Editor: Different Expectations

Star Phoenix

By Shawna Colpitts, The StarPhoenix March 19, 2011

(Originally submitted under the title: “Who Gets the Jump and Who Ends Up with the SAHO competitive wages?”)

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?  


Yet when you compare the experience of many of the health care providers that provide direct hands-on care, they are offered no jumps.  Instead they receive ‘competitive wages’ as determined by SAHO or the government.  What SAHO does not tell you is how they manipulate the market data (pick and choose the data that suits their needs), or how they unnecessarily delay the process and how they frustrate and demean the care providers in the public forum.  I can tell you first hand this is not negotiation; rather, it feels much like extortion. 

Why is Saskatchewan losing quality health care providers including doctors, internes, residents, practitioners and a full range of providers?  Why are we experiencing temporary closures, reduced hours, the elimination of emergency services, other service cuts and/or no laboratory services in many locations across the province?  Is this deliberate and in keeping with some mandate that we know nothing about?

My question is whether Maura Davies (and others who have received this huge salary jump) has met the expectations of the residents who live in Wakaw and surrounding area?  Or is it that the Sask Party, and/or SAHO, have vastly different expectations of these executives than the taxpayers who expect timely access to comprehensive health care services in their home communities?

Shawna Colpitts

Director, SEIU-West

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