For Immediate Release – March 22, 2017
Regina – SEIU-West member leaders were present in the Legislature when the 2017-2018 Saskatchewan provincial budget was announced. Saskatchewan’s reputation as a province where we take care of each other is on the line.
“This government is failing the people of Saskatchewan,” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “Their budget does not have any vision for tomorrow. Instead it’s all short-term nickel and dime savings that will have a negative impact on individuals and their families in the long run.”
The cuts announced do nothing to address the shortage of staff in the health, education and community-based sectors. All three sectors rely heavily on having enough people to provide services within our communities. These cuts negatively impact the services that people can expect in our hospitals, long-term care homes, schools and community sector.
“What our members don’t understand is how you can go after these sectors in such an aggressive way and damage not only their livelihood but actually deteriorate the services they provide even more,” added Cape. “One of our members broke down in tears as she admitted that she had to call clients and cancel their care because there was no staff to do the work. Due to the current hiring freeze, staff have worked too much overtime and they are physically exhausted.”
The Wall government has done nothing “transformational” in their budget except trigger a kneejerk reaction to a huge deficit by swinging the pendulum towards austerity. SEIU-West has been urging the Wall government to explore other options that should be on the table such as imposing fair taxation on large corporations and conducting a thorough review of bureaucracies like SAHO, 3sHealth and eHealth.
“Let’s be clear, privatizing services is not the answer,” continued Cape. “Our experience with the access and quality of the linen coming out of the provincial laundry services has taught us that this is neither a reliable resource nor a savings.”
“There’s nothing innovative or new in this budget,” said Cape. “We have been offering solutions for years with no uptake from this government. Our members know how to save this province money in their respective sectors. But this government fails to listen to those who are the front line experts time and time again.”
“What is particularly troubling is the effect that this budget (and those that follow) will have upon our children and our future as a province. It appears there is no commitment to invest in K to 12 education, with a view to ensuring all children have a positive learning environment.”
SEIU-West represents more than 13,000 working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They include members who 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. Purple works in our communities! Visit www.PurpleWorks.ca to find out more about the members of SEIU-West.
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For more information, contact:
Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 306-652-1011 ext. 8733