TAKE ACTION – Have your say about Saskatchewan’s health care restructuring plan

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have-your-say-about-sk-health-care-restructuringThe government of Saskatchewan has announced a three person panel to develop recommendations for reorganization of health care. The committee has a mandate to “recommend a structure with fewer regional health authorities to achieve administrative efficiencies as well as improvements to frontline service delivery.” The final report is due on October 31, 2016, and all public comments are due by September 26, 2016.

This is a very quick turn around, and we are concerned that it will be difficult to gather fulsome public feedback. The impacts of health care reorganization are far ranging, and it important that as many people as possible write to panel to voice concerns.

Saskatchewan has gone through two health care mergers. Both instances significantly disrupted the whole health system and distracted from the main purpose of the health care system: which is to provide quality care to patients and residents.

We need to make sure that the process in place considers quality of care, and protects our public health care system.

If you are concerned about the impact health reorganization, please write a letter today.

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Aboriginal Council Conference 2016

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Aboriginal Council Conference_2016_WEB DISPLAY PICRegistration is now open for the Aboriginal Council Conference 2016 to be held November 17 – 18, 2016 at the Temple Gardens Hotel in Moose Jaw, Treaty 4 Territory.

Open to all CUPE members, and members of other
unions as well, the CUPE Saskatchewan Aboriginal
Council Conference seeks to build union activism with a focus on equality and rights for Aboriginal people in our workplaces and communities. This year, participants will focus on building on past gains to create a better future for everyone.

Early registration deadline: October 17, 2016

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CUPE concerned with lack of public consultation for health restructuring

REGINA: CUPE’s Health Care Council has expressed grave concerns about the process around health care reorganization, citing both lack of public consultation and the extremely short timeline.

“Health care restructuring is a major undertaking that will disrupt the established systems and relationships for providing health care in Saskatchewan,” said Gordon Campbell, President of the CUPE Health Care Council. “The prescribed consultation process is woefully inadequate.”

The government of Saskatchewan recently announced a three person advisory panel to develop recommendations for reorganizing health care. The advisory panel will hold limited meetings with stakeholders and no public meetings whatsoever. All public comments are due by September 26, 2016, and the final report is due on October 31, 2016.
“We believe that the process must consider quality of care and protecting our public health care system,” said Campbell. “This undertaking should not be done hastily nor without careful consideration and comprehensive consultations.”

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CUPE reacts to RQHR layoffs; call for more funding for frontline staff

REGINA: CUPE is concerned about the announcement that Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region (RQHR) is looking at layoffs.

“We know that RQHR is facing financial challenges, but we were not expecting a press conference today announcing layoffs,” said Scott McDonald, president of CUPE Local 3967. McDonald added that there is a lot of uncertainty about what this will mean for workers.“We don’t know what areas will be impacted, and we don’t know who is on the chopping block.”

CUPE is concerned about the impact layoffs will have on the quality of care for patients and residents.

“Frontline workers are already faced with challenges from increasing workload and staff shortage issues,” said McDonald. “We need more investment in staffing, not less.”

The news about layoffs at RQHR comes on the heels of significant layoffs at Saskatoon Health Region.

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Talks between City of Moose Jaw and CUPE Local 9 at a standstill

MOOSE JAW: The City of Moose Jaw has walked away from the conciliation process and said it is finished bargaining with the union. In response, the provincially appointed conciliator has written to the Minister concluding that he was unable to reach a deal.

“If the employer would be prepared to return to conciliation and bargain in good faith, the union would be prepared to do so as well,” said Stacey Landin, president of CUPE Local 9. “However, our recent rounds of conciliation have made it clear the employer is not prepared to make any significant moves on its proposals.”

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CUPE concerned about impact reorganization may have on quality of care

REGINA: CUPE has serious concerns about how a major reorganization of health care regions will impact workers, patients, and quality of care.

“Past experiences from Saskatchewan and across the country raise several flags when it
comes to reorganization,” said Patty Brockman, staff representative with the Canadian
Union of Public Employees (CUPE). “Larger health regions have a disproportional impact
on rural communities and could lead to reduced services and a loss of decision making in
communities.”

Saskatchewan has gone through two previous health care reorganizations. The uncertainty during and after the last two reorganizations caused stress and confusion for frontline workers in Saskatchewan. Research suggests there are also health impacts associated with a long period of uncertainty, including low morale, burnout, and decreased job satisfaction. All of these factors can have an impact on quality of care for patients and residents.

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CUPE takes supervisory battle to the next step

Tom Graham, President of CUPE Saskatchewan_background_WEB

Tom Graham, President, CUPE Saskatchewan

REGINA: The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has filed a notice of constitutional question in the cases of three employers who are attempting to unilaterally remove unionized supervisors out of the bargaining unit of their choosing.

The City of Moose Jaw, the Saskatoon Public Library, and Cypress Hills Abilities Centre are some of the first employers in the province to use new provisions under The Saskatchewan Employee Act (SEA) which allow employers to try to remove workers with supervisory duties from the bargaining unit. A fourth employer, the Regina Public Library, has applied to have similar employees removed from the bargaining unit claiming that they are managers.

“Working people have the right to belong to the union of their choosing. CUPE will fight any
employer who moves forward with attempting to exclude supervisory members with every tool in our tool box, including legal avenues,” said Tom Graham, president of CUPE Saskatchewan. “Filing a notice of constitutional question is the first step in what could be a very lengthy and expensive legal battle.”

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