Important Community Input Received at Town Hall Meeting in Wakaw
Wakaw – A community meeting was set up for April 27, 2011 at 7pm by the Concerned Citizens of Wakaw and SEIU-West (Service Employees International Union). Invitations were extended to the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR), as well as, the Minister of Health and others. Late in the day on April 26, the Health Region advised that they would not be in attendance. The Minister of Health did not attend nor did he send a representative from the Ministry to the meeting. Representatives from the Municipality and the Town of Wakaw were present.
Barb Cape, President of SEIU-West reports, “Of course it would have been ideal to have both the Ministry and the Health Region in the room for this meeting. However, the SHR has now asked that we participate in a Working Group made up of staff, community and union representatives so that these groups are brought together at one table to determine the needs of the residents and health care services that ought to be offered. We see the proposed Working Group as a positive development and hope their intent is in earnest. How effective the dialogue about the future of health care services in Wakaw will remain to be seen.”
Cape added, “This meeting and the Working Group should be seen as opportunities to be inclusive and work towards a common goal of meeting the medical and broader health care service needs within the community of Wakaw. We received important input at tonight’s meeting and thereafter will share that info with SHR. We will continue to work with this community to achieve a fair voice for them and for the workers in their fight to address their health service needs. Our experience with the Concerned Citizens of Wakaw and their responsive representatives has been through much hard work and collaboration to look for solutions together. It is too bad that the Ministry of Health is unwilling to participate.”
SEIU-West leaders and members have been making inquiries regarding the future status of health care services in Wakaw, and many of these remain unanswered. Layoff notices to health care providers within the community are pending. Many may be forced to leave their homes in this community to find alternate work. SEIU-West, has been working with members and the community and would like to offer suggestions to the Saskatoon Health Region for alternate strategies.
SEIU-West represents approximately eleven thousand health care providers across the province. They include special care aides, licensed practical nurses, diagnostic and therapeutic technologists, food services workers, laundry, housekeeping and activity personnel, maintenance, sterile processing workers, operating room technologists, maintenance personnel, and administrative and clerical staff, among others.
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For more information, contact:
Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator – 306.652.1011 ext. 2250