This year, just as previous years, came and went with the regular business attended to – whether in Labour Relations, Operations or Governance. Your Executive Council and its Committees set the policies and direction of your union, the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS). When establishing the path going forward, Executive Council must review past experiences and accomplishments. Successful planning also relies on the feedback from our members – either through surveys, through your Executive Council representatives, conversations, emails, or Communications such as the eBulletin.
HSAS has faced many challenges in 2016, particularly with the Regional Health Authorities and Government’s budget challenges. There were layoffs. A number of HSAS professionals employed within the Saskatoon Health Region received notices. As a result, this province’s health system has lost two full time audiologists, one part time Speech/Language Pathologist, one part time Dietitian, and a part time Exercise/ Conditioning Therapist. Losing even one of our health care professionals creates a vacuum, which may not ever be filled again, and one which has can have a devastating effect on the wellbeing of those who are no longer served. The impact of these losses often affects those most vulnerable, and in need of the specialized services.
In the current political and budgetary landscape, there are many competing interests for the limited health care dollars. To ensure that the voice of HSAS professionals is heard, HSAS will remain committed to communicating the HSAS professionals’ perspective on quality health care. HSAS will continue to advocate for a common sense approach to our health care challenges and the prudent use of the dollars budgeted for the health care of the people of this province.
In the coming year, HSAS will continue to strengthen alliances and ties with those who share common values. HSAS will continue to foster relationships with our partners in the labour movement, locally, provincially and nationally –those who also believe that health care should be publicly funded, publicly administered, and publicly delivered. We are stronger as a union, when we collaborate and work together.
In spite of the uncertainties and challenges our province and our health care are facing as we look ahead to 2017, your Executive Council has prepared to face those challenges and will be working on your behalf.
Wishing you all a safe and wonderful holiday season! Seasons Greetings!