By Dena McKinlay, The StarPhoenix November 19, 2011
Re: Wall muses on labour (SP, Nov. 9). I am a union member and agree that transparency and accountability should be evident in all membership-based organizations, including those in government.
When my union recently was negotiating a collective agreement for health providers, I was frustrated with the expensive media campaign launched by the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations.
There were television, radio and newspaper ads, and glossy posters throughout my workplace.
SAHO even sent a letter to every health provider.
I think this information was intended to cripple our union’s already limited bargaining power. It made me angry. I felt it devalued and diminished the overall sense of worth for health providers, who have a critical role in the health-care team.
I asked how much SAHO was spending on this campaign, and our union indicated that the government had not provided the information in response to a Freedom of Information request. Rather, the government said SAHO is a membership-based, not-for-profit association. It acknowledged that SAHO receives some direct government funding, but other funding sources include membership fees.
So the union sent similar requests to members of SAHO – regional health authorities – which indicated they were unable to locate any records related to the information request.
Where is the transparency and accountability when health-care providers cannot find out just how much money SAHO is using to launch a campaign against them.
I want Premier Wall to address this lack of transparency and accountability. I’m certain many health providers who would agree with me.
Dena McKinlay Saskatoon
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