Tag Archives: Occupational Health and Safety

MEDIA RELEASE: Long-Term Care Unsafe Staffing Levels – A Daily Frustration for Health Care Providers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 18, 2013

Saskatoon – SEIU-West members who work in long-term care facilities in Saskatchewan are frustrated by the comments made by Health Minister Dustin Duncan in an online CBC article that claims that the government has “significantly increased the full-time complement of workers within long-term care”.

“I have no idea why the Minister is making this statement,” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “In our members’ experience this does not accurately reflect the reality in long-term care. Very recently we identified to the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) the situation at Saskatoon Convalescent Home where our members have told us they work short constantly because there aren’t enough care providers to do the work that needs to be done.”

“This problem is not unique to SHR. Many of our members from long-term care facilities in other Health Regions continue to report back, through the use of workload tracking forms, just how often and why they are working short staffed,” continued Cape. “We have attempted to share this information with the Regional Health Authorities and the Minister. As of yet we have not had satisfactory responses nor any solid steps on how to move forward to improve staffing levels.”

When the results of the government’s long-term care review were released in October, SEIU-West members and leaders were hopeful that the government had finally received a concrete signal that maintaining safe staffing levels in this sector is a challenge that needs to be addressed immediately.

“We are not aware of any long-term care facility where they have enough staff to handle all the day-to-day care needs of the residents. We’d like the Minister to show us where the 700 full-time positions were created,” continued Cape. “The goal of our membership, in this sector, is to provide professional, timely care to the residents who live in long term care facilities. We need an increase in staff hours per resident to match the complexity of care requirements and to share the workload. The current situation is not healthy for the residents and the workers who grapple with this issue daily.”

SEIU-West represents approximately eleven thousand health care providers in the province of Saskatchewan. They include Continuing Care Assistants, 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

Phone: 306.652.1011 ext. 2250

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

MEDIA RELEASE: Long-Term Care Unsafe Staffing Levels: A Daily Frustration for Health Care Providers

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Occupational Health Committee Level 1 Training

The Saskatchewan Association for Safe Workplaces in Health (SASWH) is holding Occupational Health Committee (OHC) Level 1 training in the following health regions:SASWH-Logo

  • Cypress
  • Five Hills
  • Saskatoon

All OH&S committee members must complete Level 1 training sessions. If you have not done so, the employer is required to allow you paid time off to attend such training, as per Section 46 of the Occupational Health And Safety Regulations.

Please visit the SASWH calendar of events to find the one closest to you.

 

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Article: Elder care cost nightmare looms

√The provincial government clearly deserves praise for its frank report on nursing home care, but the document omitted some information vital to this debate. Certainly, the warts-andall report that emerged from notes compiled by health district chief executive officers who toured all the province’s nursing homes was honest and compelling. Stories of seniors having to wait three or four hours for breakfast after being awoken at 5:30 a.m., or left to soil themselves in adult diapers because of staffing shortages, were both gripping and disheartening. Those who built Saskatchewan deserve better. But if meeting seniors’ needs is a herculean challenge today, it will be many times larger with the inflationary costs of health care in aging nursing homes that are about to get even more overcrowded with geriatric baby boomers. Today’s stopgap measures won’t do the trick…

To read this story on-line, click on the link below:
Elder care cost nightmare looms

To download a printable PDF of this story, click on the link below:
Elder care cost nightmare looms

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Editorial: System needs better staffing

The good news is that Health Minister Dustin Duncan has gone far beyond most of his predecessors in trying to get a handle on the problems that confront Saskatchewan’s longterm care facilities at a time when the demand for their services has never been higher and is growing.

What’s not as good is the government’s response…

To read this story on-line, click on the link below:
System needs better staffing

To download a printable PDF of this story, click on the link below:
System needs better staffing

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News Article: Care homes in crisis

Saskatchewan Health Minister Dustin Duncan says details in a report on conditions in the province’s long-term care facilities are “dismaying” and “heartbreaking” and left him “angry.”…

To read this story on-line, click on the link below:
Care homes in crisis – link to Star Phoenix

To download a printable PDF of this story, click on the link below:
Care homes in crisis
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News Article: ‘We need to do better for Seniors in need of our care’

Facing complaints that include residents soiling themselves and receiving tub baths only once a week, the Saskatchewan government is injecting $10 million into an urgent issues action fund for long-term care facilities in the province…

To read this story on-line, click on the link below:
‘We need to do better for seniors in need of our care’ – link to Star Phoenix

To download a printable PDF of this story, click on the link below:
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Anti-Harassment and Anti-Bullying Workshop

The anti-harassment and anti-bullying workshop is a new internal training program for our unit elected leaders as well as our occupational health and safety committee members.

Objectives for this course are for participants to learn and understand:

  • The definitions of inappropriate behaviour that constitute harassment as defined in legislation;
  • The difference between Harassment and Bullying;
  • The effect of Workplace Bullying; and
  • The role of the Union in these situations;

stop-the-bully-find-a-solutionThe course is designed so that participants will learn the difference between harassment and bullying and understand the negative effects of bullying on both the individual and the entire workplace. Participants will learn and understand the role of the union in these types of situations.

The legislation on harassment and bullying is clear. The employer is responsible to ensure a harassment free workplace and all workers/supervisors/managers are to conduct themselves in a manner which does not demean, humiliate or harm others.

We are hopeful that by providing this training, our SEIU-West leadership will be able to identify harassment and bullying type behaviour and assist in making sure all of our members are treated with respect and dignity.

Please speak with your Unit Chairperson if you are interested in this training opportunity.

Workshops are being offered on the following dates:

Date: Location:
October 15, 2013 Saskatoon
October 16, 2013 Saskatoon
October 21, 2013 Moose Jaw
October 22, 2013 Moose Jaw
October 23, 2013 Swift Current
October 24, 2013 Swift Current
November 4, 2013 Kindersley

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Letter to Dustin Duncan Re: Province-wide Staffing Levels Review – Health Care

Further to a May 1, 2013 Global News report, we have learned that the Ministry of Health intends to undertake a province wide review in regards to adequacy of staffing levels within the health sector. We believe that we have information that would be valuable to such review…

To read the full letter, click on the PDF link below:

May 10, 2013: Letter to Minister Duncan re: Province-wide Staffing Levels Review

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Letter to Don Morgan Re: Summary Offence Ticketing

SEIU-West shares a mutual interest with government in the improvement of workplace safety. In our opinion, all parties will achieve maximum effectiveness (improved safety; reduced injury or occupational illness), if the program initiated is anchored in the principle of…

Read the full letter by clicking on the PDF link below:

May 9, 2013: Letter to Minister Morgan re: Summary Offence Ticketing

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SEA Red Flag 3: No Life Preservers

WEb-Button-rf-3Summary Offence Ticketing is being introduced by our government to deal with specific Occupational Health and Safety infractions in the workplace. Tickets can be issued to both workers and immediate Supervisors; we all know that unsafe staffing levels lend to higher injury rates, yet this scheme shifts the responsibility for safety, and the fines, to those who have no control over staffing levels. However, the SEA does not contain any safe staffing provisions – is it fair to make the workers pay for employer decisions?

We can see the difference – can you?

The only time safe staffing levels appear to catch the interest of the government is when workers and their representatives are in the midst of collective bargaining.  During our last round of provincial health care negotiations, the Employers deemed almost every worker ‘essential’; this includes casual workers and those away on leaves. In some cases, the Employer deemed more workers ‘essential’ than the normal complement of staff on any given shift.  Let’s see a serious response to workplace safety by investing in it: safe staffing levels, needed equipment and appropriate training.  This would promote a safer workplace and improve the overall health of everyone in it.

Let your MLA know that this piece of the legislation should offer a life preserver for workers.

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