Saskatoon – The members of SEIU-West (Service Employees International Union) are proud to celebrate Labour Day in recognition of the working people in Saskatchewan. SEIU-West represents approximately twelve thousand members across the province working in healthcare, education, municipalities, private sector, community-based organizations and retirement homes.
“There’s no question that this is an important and historical day in our province. Our province, under the watch of Tommy Douglas, pioneered the notion of Crown Corporations to provide important public services in our province; we achieved free hospital services; the enshrinement of human rights for our citizens and the right for workers to join a Union under the first Trade Union Act” SEIU-West President Barbara Cape said. “We need to understand this history, and appreciate that many of these benefits were driven by the notion of fairness and community co-operation”.
Cape pointed to the current benefits we enjoy in Saskatchewan. “Today we have the protection of Occupational Health and Safety provisions; we enjoy pension benefits and strong labour standards. We need to celebrate these achievements and continue to build on those progressive benefits”.
Instead of building on our provincial past successes, we now have legislative changes which have taken away the rights of working people – for the public sector, workers no longer have a fair collective bargaining process, other workers face new obstacles to joining a union. There have been cuts in the education sector, particular to the important role offered by Education Assistants; continued chronic underfunding of the CBO sector; and an undermining of the public health system through unsafe staffing levels, a refusal to manage critical retention and recruitment issues, disrupted access to services in some communities and an overall privatization scheme.
“Under the SaskParty’s watch, the people of Saskatchewan have endured far too many losses,” Cape said. “We want our membership and the public to be reminded and to understand fully the impact of the SaskParty government actions. We join with members in making all politicians accountable for their decisions and their actions and have launched our website www.yourfairshare.ca to focus on a number of issues where the SaskParty government has failed the public. We encourage everyone to visit the site to learn more about this SEIU-West campaign”.
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For more information, contact:
Christine Miller: (306) 652-1011 ext. 2250 firstname.lastname@example.org
View the complete release as a PDF: Sept 2 NR labour day YFS