MEDIA RELEASE: Long-Term Care Residents Deserve Safe Care

For Immediate Release – May 14, 2015

Saskatoon – The leaders and members of SEIU-West were somewhat reassured by the observations contained in the final report of the Ombudsman released today. It was reassuring to hear that there are wide-ranging complaints across all health regions and that unsafe staffing levels appear to be a systemic issue and these are not solely the concerns brought forward by SEIU-West.

“Members of SEIU-West who work in this sector have struggled with this reality for far too long. While we have attempted to bring these issues to the forefront in each of our affiliated Health Regions and Extendicare facilities, it has been a struggle to get any traction, due to the budgetary realities that direct staffing levels” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West.

“On behalf of our members who provide front line care services, it is upsetting to hear the Ombudsman’s assessment that in moving from minimum care guidelines of 2011, to the 2013 special care guidelines, a culture of poor quality of care has been created.” Cape added. “We agree the 2011 minimum care guidelines were outdated and should have been increased on the basis of higher level of care requirements for residents in long-term care. We also appreciate the observation that the 2013 special care guidelines have neither been implemented, nor monitored or enforced.”

The Ombudsman report notes that the 2013 special care guidelines are non-specific, high level and open to wide interpretation.

“Unfortunately, we do not have adequate staffing resources to ensure that the recommendations of the Ombudsman are fulfilled. What we really need is to take the next step and address the recommendations of the Ombudsman and this can only be done if we first resolve the chronic unsafe staffing levels in this sector. Our members are ready and willing to be a part of the process to improve the care standards in long-term care,” said Cape.

SEIU-West represents more than 13,000 working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They work in health care, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors. They are joined by one colour, purple and one union, SEIU-West and they want you to note that purple works in our community! Visit to find out more about the members of SEIU-West who work for the people of Saskatchewan.

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For more information, contact:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 306-652-1011 ext. 8733


For a printable PDF of this release, click on the link below:

MEDIA RELEASE: Long-Term Care Residents Deserve Safe Care

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