MEDIA RELEASE: Government Priorities Troubling

For Immediate Release – October 19, 2016

Regina – Members of the Service Employees International Union West (SEIU-West) political action and awareness committee gathered to witness the opening of the fall session of provincial legislature today.

“We are here today to analyze the announcements from our government firsthand,” said Neil Colmin, Vice-President of SEIU-West. “We are troubled by what we hear regarding our government’s plan for the transformational change in Saskatchewan. It is our hope that this process will not compromise the future public services received in either health care or the education sector by the residents of Saskatchewan.”

“I’ve worked in home care for over 20 years; in my experience, we have seen gradual decline in the number of hands-on care providers to provide care in our health region,” continued Colmin. “We don’t share any optimism that a third, attempt at restructuring will lend to improvement in the staff to client ratio or resolve the critical issues we are facing with recruitment and retention.”

Safe staffing levels in both of these sectors are a major concern for members of SEIU-West. Having an appropriate, skilled and professional team of staff working together to provide care for patients, clients and residents or supporting the educational plans of our students is a goal that seems to always get punted further down the field.

“It’s a growing concern for our members when we hear that the government priority is to reduce health regions, particularly when the research confirms this is not a cost saver; rather, we think our government should be focussed on our patients, clients and residents and their very real, day to day needs,” added Colmin.

The waste of public funds and mismanagement surrounding the GTH land deal and the cuts to Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) benefits are two recent examples of the Wall governments’ lack of good stewardship of our resources; these decisions do not appear to be in the best interest of the over one million residents of Saskatchewan.

“Overspending in the GTH land deal was a waste of valuable resources – that could have gone into maintaining SAID benefits or adequately funding front-line services in health care; these monies could have been diverted into other valuable public services like our schools and the community-based organization sector,” said Colmin.

SEIU-West represents more than 13,000 Saskatchewan workers. Our members work in hospitals, home care, long-term care facilities, retirement homes, group homes, day cares, crisis services, schools, municipalities, and private businesses. Joined by one union – SEIU-West – and one colour – purple – our members are an integral part of Saskatchewan communities. Visit to find out more about the issues that matter to the members of SEIU-West, their families and their communities.

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For more information, contact:
Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 306-652-1011 ext. 8733


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