Like us, you’ve likely been hearing the recent news about Saskatchewan’s ballooning $1.2 billion deficit along with our Premier talking about the threat of wage rollbacks, benefit cutbacks and more layoffs.
This comes after many years of a thriving Saskatchewan, a boom enjoyed by our Government and for which they took much of the credit. Now, the government is taking little responsibility for their fiscal mismanagement and have instead chosen to place blame on public sector workers.
Because of this, it’s important that we, as health care workers, use our voting power wisely for the by-election in the riding of Saskatoon Meewasin on March 2nd – we should take this opportunity to question the Saskatoon – Meewasin candidates about their position on important issues to our future valued public health care.
For your convenience, SEIU-West has drafted a message along with a few questions that you may want to use for outreach to the Meewasin candidates:
Dear (candidate name),
As a health care worker, I am disappointed in the way our government has responded to its growing deficit. In an already strained health care system, patients and workers cannot handle any more layoffs. In fact, our province cannot either – taxes from our employment fund our government services, so I am also concerned about the negative effects unemployment will have in our local community economies. There have also been musings about wage rollbacks and benefit cuts – but as a health care worker, I do not make a fortune. I have struggled to manage the significant cost of living increases each year.
As my potential MLA, I would like to you respond to the following questions so I can determine who will best represent the interests of public health care in our province:
- What is your position on protecting the wages and benefits of all health care workers as agreed upon in their collective agreements? Will you vote for or against any future law that works to take away my collective agreement, seniority rights or union security?
- The Saskatchewan government has mused about laying off 4900 health care workers – would you support this decision? If so, how would you see these positions being filled in an already understaffed health care system?
- What is your position on privatization, particularly in health care?
- What is your position on legislated safe staffing levels in health care?
- What is your position on the threatened layoffs and freezes in all public sector work, including the cuts to wages (rollbacks) and benefits?
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your response.
In order to send this message, we’ve collected all the contact information for the candidates. They are as following:
· Darrin Lamoureux – Liberal Party candidate: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Dr. Ryan Meili – New Democratic Party candidate: email@example.com
· Brent Penner – Saskatchewan Party candidate: firstname.lastname@example.org
· David Prokopchuk – Progressive Conservative Candidate: email@example.com
· Shawn Setyo – Green Party candidate: firstname.lastname@example.org
Give each of them an email with your questions and a phone as an alternate method for them to reach you in reply.
When you receive your response, we would greatly appreciate it if you share it with us – please email Catherine.Gendron@seiuwest.ca
SEIU-West Political Action and Education Dept