New Beginnings- Member and Community Engagement
The HSAS fiscal year ended August 31st. Subsequent to that, Committees of Executive Council prepared for Convention and the Annual General Meeting which took place on October 26 and 27. Both days were well-attended, engaging and thought-provoking.
This past year has been a concerning one for HSAS as our members faced many challenges due to budgetary cuts to health region programs. Some of those cuts have resulted in layoffs and even elimination of entire programs. HSAS will continue to face those challenges head on, in the months ahead, and is committed to advocate for our members and their clients and patients who deserve access to the services they require.
This coming year, we will see changes to the boundaries of the health regions as the province moves to one health region. Although the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) board has been established as the governance structure overseeing delivery of health care services, and the CEO, Scott Livingstone, has been appointed – not much else is entirely clear. HSAS representatives have had four meetings with representatives of the Health Region Amalgamation Transition Team, to identify and discuss issues which may arise due to moving towards one health authority. It remains unclear, as to how the operations will unfold on Day 1, under the new authority, the impact on services and delivery of services throughout the province. We anticipate further meetings in the coming weeks, on the impacts of this transition on the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), as well as the impacts on programs or service delivery, if any, and the impact of these significant changes to the patients we serve.
Your HSAS/SAHO contract expires at the end of March 2018, and the Negotiations Committee will continue to prepare for the upcoming round of contract negotiations.
HSAS Executive Council has approved a new initiative for our members who are interested in participating in local community events through sponsorship and fundraising. A new fund has been established to support member engagement in community activities and causes. Individual members, who participate in a recognized charitable event or humanitarian event, may apply for funds to be directed to that event or charity. These can include any direct participation in raising funds for a particular charity of interest. The organization, cause or event for which funds are being requested, must have a charitable organization registration number. Please go to our website for the application form and more information.
Additionally, this year, HSAS is focusing efforts in support of the Saskatoon and Regina Food Banks and Learning Centres. Executive Council encourages members to support their local food banks, and volunteer their time to lend support to the programs offered. This fall, HSAS organized two steak nights – Saskatoon in September, and Regina in October. All monies raised were directed to the two largest Food Banks and Learning Centres in Saskatchewan, to support the programs offered by these two agencies.
For this coming year, HSAS Executive Council also approved the budget for increased funding for the Education awards and Silver Anniversary scholarships.
The Education Awards have been increased to 50 draws per fiscal year (25 in the fall and 25 in the spring) from the current 40, and are open to HSAS members applying for continuing education activities. As well, the Silver Anniversary Award was increased to 30 draws from 20 draws. The Silver Anniversary Award again is based on the lottery system, and the funds are open to a spouse or dependent of an HSAS member enrolled in full-time studies at a post-secondary educational institution leading to a degree, diploma or certificate.
For more information and applications, on Awards and Community Engagement Volunteer Funds, please visit the HSAS website at https://www.hsas.ca/information-for-members/funds-scholarships-awards.