For Immediate Release – October 24th, 2012
Saskatoon – SEIU-West members employed in the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) are concerned that the region may soon run out of clean laundry and linens. The Calgary supplies have, once again been disrupted; this time due to weather and road conditions.
“Our members want the public to know that the laundry situation is not settled and that the supply problems impact their safety when accessing healthcare services,” said Terry Zahorski, SEIU-West Union Representative. “The situation is one late delivery short of a crisis for all the healthcare facilities that rely on central laundry services.”
When Central Laundry was operational, it provided clean linen to all the Saskatoon area hospitals, and healthcare facilities including Saskatoon City Hospital, Royal University Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital, and Oliver Lodge to name a few. Due to the shut down of the facility for Health and Safety issues, the region has been relying on linen coming in by truck from Calgary.
“SEIU-West provided a presentation to 3S Health and the SHR representatives in late August,” says Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “Our presentation outlined the need for local control of supplies. What we really need is a Saskatoon laundry solution. This is the largest health region in the province and we are concerned that a lack of laundry resources will compromise the quality and safety of client, resident and patient care.”
SEIU members who work as part of the health care team want to improve the quality of publicly-delivered health care services and were supportive of the presentation which outlined the necessity for a public provider to ensure the design of a laundry operations utilizing the skilled, trained workforce available to the region and which would adopt the efficient and timely processes known as ‘LEAN’, in the provision of laundry services.
“Our members have communicated their growing concerns both to the employer and to us,” states Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “We do not want to see supplies run out, surgeries or procedures cancelled and health care compromised. We continue to press for a much-need public laundry service within SHR.”
SEIU-West represents approximately eleven thousand health care providers in the province of Saskatchewan. They include special care aides, licensed practical nurses, diagnostic and therapeutic technologists, food service workers, laundry, housekeeping and activity personnel, maintenance, sterile processing workers, and administrative staff, among others.
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For more information, contact:
Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 306.652.1011 ext. 2250
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