Graham: User-pay MRIs bad policy

Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan_background_WEB

Tom Graham, President, CUPE Saskatchewan

“Passing more costs to patients and draining the public health care system of resources and professionals is not about innovation or choice; it is the return to the days before Medicare,” wrote Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan, in a letter to the editor challenging the provincial government’s introduction of two-tier health care with user-pay MRI scan legislation.

Graham noted other jurisdictions that have experimented with private pay-per-use scans witnessed an overall increase in wait times, while investment in the public health care system has reduced Saskatchewan’s wait times.

“This [user-pay MRIs] is completely contrary to the founding principle of Medicare that need, not one’s ability to pay, should determine access to care.”

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The Black Box of Numbers: Voting Blind in the P3 Referendum in Regina – June 1, 2015 Town Hall

water watch June 1 2015 Town HallJoin Dr. Morina Rennie and Dr. Bill Bonner for a presentation about how key data on the costs of the Regina Waste Water Treatment Plant public private partnership (P3) have never been disclosed.

Rennie and Bonner are professors from the University of Regina School of Business who have studied the publicly released documents on Regina’s first P3. They will discuss what was said, what we know and what we don’t know about the P3 costs.

Town Hall
June 1, 2015
7:00 p.m.
The Artesian (2627 13th Ave, REGINA)

Event hosted by: Regina Water Watch

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User-pay MRI legislation will reduce access and only increase wait lists

The introduction of user-pay MRI scan legislation by the Government of Saskatchewan is the beginning of two-tier health care, says CUPE.

“Allowing those able to pay for private MRI scans to get access to health care more quickly – regardless of need – is the introduction of two-tier health care,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan. “While those with large wallets can get MRIs quickly, the rest of us will have to wait.”

Graham pointed to provinces that have experimented with the pay-per-use model where studies have shown an increase in overall wait times. In Alberta, the private pay-per-use model resulted in a contravention of the Canada Health Act and the province was forced to repay patients for medically necessary MRI scans.

The union has further concerns with private MRI operators poaching health care professionals from the public system which already experiences staff shortages from private clinics.

“Legislation that allows people to jump the queue and causes the poaching of health care professionals from the public system will lead to reduced access to health care and longer wait lists,” said Graham. “Passing off more costs to patients and draining the public health care system is not innovative, it’s privatization.”

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Go vote for the change you want: Public forum on the state of our democracy May 13, 2015

GoVote-poster-Saskatoon-11x17 (1)_001It’s been nine years of job losses, health care privatization, falling wages, and environmental neglect. It’s time for change. Join a compelling line-up of speakers to learn how you can inspire democratic participation in your community.

Together, we can choose a government that creates good jobs, invests in public health care, addresses climate change, and so much more.

Go vote for the change you want: Public forum on the state of our democracy

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Roxy Theatre
320 20th St W

Click here for a free event ticket.

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Time for Change Tour – Regina and Saskatoon May 19, 2015

Time for Change Tour CLC

Time for Change Tour, Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)

By working together, we can elect a new federal government that puts jobs, health care, child care and seniors first.

Join us for a time for change event in your community to see how you can get involved. These short and fun events will be a great opportunity to meet fellow labour activists in your community and pick up materials to help reach out to members in your workplace.


Saskatoon – May 19, 2015

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Delta Bessborough
Battleford Ballroom
601 Spadina Crescent

Click here to RSVP.

Regina – May 19, 2015

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Ramada Plaza
Canadian Ballroom
1818 Victoria Avenue

Click here to RSVP.

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April 28, 2015: Day of mourning for workers killed or injured on the job

Day of Mourning

Attend a ceremony on April 28, 2015 in your community.

Unions around the world mark the International Day of Mourning on April 28 to honour workers who tragically lost their lives while at work and recognize those who endured an injury or acquired an illness as a result of their work. We remember those we have lost, and renew our resolve to defend and improve workplace safety standards.

Among the over 35,000 workplace injury claims reported in 2014, 39 people died from workplace injury and disease in Saskatchewan last year according to statistics released by the Workers’ Compensation Board, which does not include agricultural related deaths that occurred in the province.

Attend a ceremony in your community on Tuesday, April 28, 2015:

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Own it! project gives Saskatchewan people chance to say YES to public services


Sign the petition!

Is the privatization of Saskatchewan’s vital public services really happening?

You bet it is. It is real and it is taking place quietly all across our province — in our hospitals, schools, long term care facilities, and so much more.

Own it! Saskatchewan belongs to everyone is a new project that will give citizens a voice in a province-wide discussion about the future of public services and Crowns.

Saskatchewan’s public services belong to everyone. Let’s keep them strong!

Sign the Petition at and download and print the petition to get as many people as you can to say YES to keeping and strengthening our public services and Crown corporations.

Working together – we can make a difference!

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Cuts of over $1 billion to Saskatchewan loom with anniversary of Health Accord expiry

Time for a New Health Accord_FINALSaskatchewan is one year closer to the Federal Conservative Government’s planned take away of $1.1 billion from health care funding with the anniversary of Canada’s Health Accord expiry, warns CUPE Saskatchewan.

“Today is a reminder that the Federal Conservative Government has made a political decision to undermine our health care system and put it at further risk of privatization,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan. “The Premier of Saskatchewan should stand up for Saskatchewan and urge the renegotiation of the Health Accord before these massive cuts take effect.”

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Provincial budget increases costs for Saskatchewan people through privatization and cuts

Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan_background_WEB

Tom Graham, President, CUPE Saskatchewan

“Costly privatization and cuts to seniors, students and the most vulnerable do not build a strong province,” said Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan, responding to the 2015-2016 provincial budget released yesterday. “Whether it is expensive privatization or a reduction in funding for key public services and programs, Saskatchewan people are getting less from a budget that otherwise could have delivered more.”

The public sector union noted that child care workers will see their wages fall behind the cost of living, and promised child care spaces will remain unrealized and lagging behind the demand of Saskatchewan families. Community based organizations and the caregivers for the most vulnerable citizens, after a wage freeze last year, won’t receive the raise they need. Bearing the brunt of cuts in the budget, the University of Saskatchewan took a $20 million cut and the University of Regina received less than half of the new funding it requested, leaving students to pay higher tuition and the University of Regina already confirming jobs will be eliminated.

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Highlights: 50th Annual Convention

Master Slide_Convention 2015CUPE Saskatchewan welcomed over 250 registered delegates and guests to its 50th Annual Convention held on March 4 – 6, 2015 in Regina. The following are highlights of the proceedings.

For over 50 years, CUPE Saskatchewan has united CUPE locals to advance fairness and defend the public services that make our communities great places to live.

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