Regina (May 17, 2011) – The Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan says it’s now up to the Wall government to propose a solution to the lengthy contract dispute between health care employers and Saskatchewan’s three-thousand specialized health care professionals.
“We offered the government a window of opportunity to prevent further strike action by agreeing to send our contract dispute to independent, binding arbitration. They rejected that idea once again, so our question is simple: what’s your solution Wall government? If you don’t want to negotiate and you don’t want independent, binding arbitration, how do you propose to settle this dispute?” Dickson asked on the picket line set up by striking Health Sciences members outside the Saskatchewan Legislature.
“If there is no new solution proposed by the government, our only option will be to continue strike action. Why does the Wall government want health care strikes to continue when there are other options?” Dickson asked.
“The government and health care employers can claim there is still room to negotiate, but we have tried that route for more than two years and it’s been a complete dead-end. Time after time we have proposed solutions only to have the employers reject them, but they refuse to present any alternatives,” Dickson said.
“The more the Wall government and health care employers fight the option of independent, binding arbitration the more suspicious we all should be that they are afraid an independent third-party will expose their contract proposals as unfair and unreasonable. What do they have to fear if they truly believe that they are offering our specialized health care professionals the best possible wages and benefits?” Dickson asked.
“Health Sciences is confident an independent arbitrator will see that health care employers have chronically under-staffed our professions, which risks the safety of many Saskatchewan patients, and forces others to wait unacceptable lengths of time to access needed health care services. We are also confident an independent arbitrator will agree Saskatchewan health care professionals need more competitive wages and benefits if our province is to improve the recruitment and retention of these professions,” Dickson said.
“If the Wall government and health care employers believe otherwise let them have the courage to submit their proposals to the test of independent, binding arbitration,” Dickson concluded.
For Further Information Contact:
Cathy Dickson (President, Health Sciences)