Tag Archives: healthcare

Just the Facts: Safety Management Systems

 

The   Ministry of Health has directed all Health Regions to
implement a Safety Management System (SMS) in health care facilities where   they have the greatest amount of injuries. This system is intended to reduce   workplace injuries in the Health Care sector.

Health care worker injuries are the highest number of Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) claims; therefore, the Government is now requiring that health care facilities/services with the highest time loss claims, implement this system. The Saskatchewan Association for Safe Workplaces in Health (SASWH) is the safety association with equal union/employer representatives for the health sector.

SASWH has developed a tool to assist health care Employers in this regard. However, it is not mandatory that Employers use their system; yet the Health Care Unions (SEIU-West, SUN, CUPE, HSAS, and SGEU) are urging them to do so. Either way, for the targeted facilities a program must be implemented within a defined timeline.

The SASWH has recommended that 20% of health care facilities with the highest level of injury claims do self-assessments.

What is a Safety Management System (SMS)?

  • It is a process to reduce the risk of injury in the Heath Care sector. It is a collection of documents, forms, procedures, policies, practices, training and communication required to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace. In short, it is a safety program.
  • Part of the system requires an assessment to occur in the health care facilities were there are the highest level of workplace injuries within each Health Region. The Ministry has determined that each of the Health Regions must have a plan in place by March 31, 2013 towards the implementation of an SMS.

Who should be involved in the SMS?

  • Workers need to be involved directly in program development. Workers are exposed to hazards and have a good idea of the current realities they face each day in the workplace.
  • Specifically, we believe that Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Committee members should be included as part of the Assessment Team.

What will be happening in my workplace?

  • Each Health Region must determine by December 31, 2012 how they will begin their self-assessment process and which tool they will utilize.
  • In targeted facilities within your Health Region, assessors may be using a variety of methods to gather information from those worksites where the highest injury rates exist. They will be observing the workplace, interviewing workers to see if they have been properly trained in Occupational Health and Safety procedures and protocols and they will be requiring documented proof from the Employer that proper policies are in place.
  • Based on the result of the assessments, we expect the Employer will have to make changes to ensure that they are doing everything possible to make the workplace safer.

 

WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT?

SEIU-West wants to be very clear. It is our expectation that OH&S Committee members are provided the opportunity to participate in the SMS. We have notified all Health Care Employers of this request and await confirmation from them as to the structure/composition of their Assessment Teams. We have asked the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety to direct this as well. It is time for true prevention of injuries in Health Care and it is vital that workers have a say in this.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

Please encourage your employer to utilize the Health and Safety Committee members in the development and implementation of an SMS in your workplace.

If you are chosen for an interview with the Assessment Team:

  • Please make sure that you identify all hazards in the workplace.
  • Please indicate if and where training or resources (such as safe staffing levels) are lacking.

For a printable PDF version of this information, click here.

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Just the Facts: Employer Mandating Employees to Work

 

The   SEIU-West/SAHO Collective Agreement does not contain any specific clause that   authorizes the employer to mandate their employees to come to work.

WHAT IS EMPLOYER MANDATING?

  • This  occurs when the Employer provides the Employee with a directive that they must report for work on a date/time/place for a shift that is NOT part of their regular rotation. It is, in short, a DEMAND to appear for work.

TO WHAT EXTENT, IS AN EMPLOYER ABLE TO MANDATE EMPLOYEES TO WORK?

  • Under The Labour Standards Act, an employer shall not require an employee to work or to be at his disposal for more than 44 hours in any week, except in the case of an emergency.  See Section 12 of the  Act.
  • Similarly, Article 13.09 of the SEIU-West/SAHO Collective Agreement provides that ‘employees will not be required to work overtime or be on standby against their wishes when other qualified employees within their work until are willing to perform the required work or take such standby’. This means that any requirement to work overtime must be done in the order of      reverse seniority, subject to legitimate reasons not to attend work      (unable to arrange childcare, illness, inebriation, etc.)

WHAT SHOULD BE HAPPENING AT MY WORKPLACE?

  • Your EMPLOYER should NOT attempt to mandate you to attend work at regular time EVER.  There is no authority for the Employer to do this within the terms of the Collective Agreement; nor is there provision under the Act.
  • If  you are required to attend work – based upon the ‘work now – grieve later’ rule, we would advise that you MUST be paid overtime rates at 2X your regular rate of pay for all hours so worked.  This is based on Article 13.05 d) of the Collective Agreement – a change within the posted and confirmed work schedule.
  • Based on the common terms (between the Collective Agreement and the Act) you cannot be required to work in excess of forty-four hours in a given week.

 

SEIU-West   wants to be very clear. Mandating does not exist in the Collective Agreement.   It is unlawful for the Employer, as per The   Labour Standards Act, to require an employee to work more than forty-four   hours in a given week. Article 13.09 sets out the permitted process of   requiring an employee to work overtime (providing your hours of work do not  exceed 44 hours per week).

WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT?

  • SEIU-West will support any grievance relating to the Employer mandating an Employee to work – where the Employer does not readily pay 2X your regular wage for all hours worked  OR – where the Employer requires an Employee to work in excess of 44 hours per week and no emergency exists.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

  • If you have any questions about employer mandating or any other issue use the “Contact Us” form on www.seiuwest.ca or call the MRC (1 888 999 7348), extension 1 and have them assist you and your Unit Chair in the grievance administration process.

Tell your co-workers about this notice.

  • Support each other when the Employer attempts to off-load their shortage of staff issue onto the shoulders of your co-workers.  Understand that you and your co-workers can say, “I have a legitimate reason for declining a shift”.

 

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SEIU-West/SAHO Bargaining Update No. 10

Your SEIU-West bargaining committee met with SAHO and the Employers on November 5, 6, and 7 at the Teachers Credit Union Place in Saskatoon.

SAHO and the Employers had indicated…

Click on the link below for the full update:

SEIU-West/SAHO Bargaining Update No. 10

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Media Release: The Need for a Saskatoon Laundry Solution

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

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

Media Release: The Need for a Saskatoon Laundry Solution

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SEIU-West/SAHO Bargaining Update No. 7

Your SEIU-West healthcare bargaining team met with SAHO and the Regional Health Authorities during the week of September 10 in Saskatoon.

The theme of the latest bargaining session focussed on “meaningful discussions”. On a number of issues, both SAHO and SEIU-West proposed language…

Click on the link below to download the PDF of the update:

SEIU-West/SAHO Bargaining Update No. 7

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Public Forum: Health Care and Pensions – Prince Albert

Everyone Welcome!

Join guest speakers and members of the public to discuss:

– History of Medicare (Louise Simard)
– Home Care, Long Term Care and Primary Health Care (Health Region Representatives)
– Pensions

There will also be time for questions.

Presented by Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism www.skseniorsmechanism.ca and Saskatchewan Federation of Union Retirees.

Click on the link below to see the poster for this event:

Public Forum: Health Care and Pensions – Prince Albert

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SEIU-West/SAHO Bargaining Update No. 6

Your SEIU-West healthcare bargaining team met with SAHO and the Regional Health Authorities during the week of August 20 in Saskatoon.

The last time we had met with SAHO and the Employers, we had produced a large number of counter proposals in order to reach a consensus that would address members’ issues and concerns. We had come into last week’s meetings with a great deal of optimism…

Click on the link below to download the PDF of the update:

SEIU-West/SAHO Bargaining Update No. 6

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Media Release: Chipping Away What is Happening to our Rural Health Care Services?

For Immediate Release – July 20, 2012

 Craik – SEIU-West members and leaders grow ever more concerned about future access to quality, comprehensive, and timely health care services in rural Saskatchewan.  Yesterday’s announcement that residents in the community of Craik will be losing emergency services on July 25 is yet another recent example our resources are being chipped away resulting in a loss of services or disruption to them.

“We all know that emergencies occur in rural communities whether they be related to motor vehicle accidents, farm mishaps or injuries on the oil patch; it is alarming when our only option for emergency services is the built-in delay associated with travelling to another community that remains fortunate enough to still have a doctor,”  said Shelly Banks, Vice-President of SEIU-West. “When it is your family member or your neighbour, you really begin to understand the precious value of those added minutes or hours to receive the needed care and treatment”.

The Craik Health Centre presently has one Physician and a Nurse Practitioner.  They have offered medical services to a population of approximately 500 residents in the community and surrounding area since the Health Centre became operational in 1993.  Prior to this, there was a hospital in Craik.

The Five Hills Health Region has indicated that they are taking considerable efforts to recruit a Physician.

Banks adds, “I think it’s important to understand that our failed Doctor recruitment strategy is effecting a whole host of rural communities in the province. We can name Leader, Shaunavon, Rosetown, Wakaw, and so many more communities that have endured a loss of or disruption of services.  It makes residents very nervous.  We really do need a better solution for the citizens of our province”.

Cheryl Meska, a member of SEIU-West who works at the Craik Health Centre reports, “While our members who are working at the Health Centre have suffered no loss of employment, the big picture remains an uncertainty for all those who live and work in the community of Craik.  We really do need a doctor, sooner as opposed to later”.

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:

Shawna Colpitts, Director of Political Action & Education
Phone: 306.652.1011 ext. 2224

Click on the link below for a printable PDF version of this week:

Media Release – What is Happening to our Rural Health Care Services

 

 

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Medicare’s 50th Anniversary BBQ: Saskatoon

Come out and celebrate 50 years of publicly funded, publicly delivered, and publicly owned health care in Saskatchewan.

This Barbeque is scheduled to go from 11 am to 5 pm in Friendship park.

Medicare BBQ Poster – Saskatoon – Updated

Other Related events:

Medicare BBQ Poster – Swift Current – July 15, 2012

Medicare BBQ Poster – Moose Jaw – July 22, 2012

Read the Barb Cape’s President’s Message: Medicare’s 50th Anniversary

An interesting blog: Medicare’s 50th Blog

 

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Media Release: SEIU-West Members Ratify 4 Year Contract at Moose Jaw & District EMS

For Immediate Release – April 2, 2012

Moose Jaw – The SEIU-West Bargaining Committee is pleased to announce that the workers have accepted the contract that was negotiated with Moose Jaw & District EMS.

“We are content that the seniority issue has been resolved,” said Neil Diacon, Moose Jaw and District EMS worker and bargaining committee member. “I can’t say that it was easy to get to but the employer seems to understand the necessity of having stable staff in order to provide stable care”.

Ballots cast on Friday, March 29, 2012 revealed a 66% vote in favour of accepting the memorandum of agreement.

“Our members collectively made the decision a number of weeks ago to pursue an agreement that is fair and equitable when compared with others who provide a similar service in the province of Saskatchewan,” said Kerry Barrett, Negotiations Officer for SEIU-West. “Though it’s not exactly what members wanted, as you can see by the level of acceptance, this Agreement was hard fought and comes as a result of their determination and resolve”.

SEIU-West members who provide emergency medical services in the community of Moose Jaw and Central Butte did have to employ some job action but kept their promise to the community that their services would continue.

“Though we didn’t get everything we set out to achieve, we think that we were able to make good compromises that ultimately improve the working lives of our members in Moose Jaw and Central Butte and the service for the public,” continued Barrett.

Other changes in the contract include improved Union recognition and grievance procedure provisions as well as continued wage parity with EMS workers in the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region. The new collective agreement will expire March 31, 2015.

SEIU-West represents approximately twelve thousand working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They include members who work in healthcare, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors.

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For more information, contact:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator – 306.652.1011 ext. 2250

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

Media Release: SEIU-West Members Ratify 4 Year Contract at Moose Jaw & District EMS

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