Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan

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Health Regions Need to Fill Vacancies, Restore Needed Services

Regina (March 21, 2012) – The introduction of the 2012-2013 Saskatchewan Provincial Budget, with its 3.5% increase in funding for Saskatchewan health regions, means those regions should get on with the job of filling 150 advertised vacancies among the specialized health care professionals represented by the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan, and restoring the public health care services reduced by these vacancies, Health Sciences President Karen Wasylenko said immediately following the introduction of the provincial budget.

“Our members have told us that the health regions take months to advertise these professional vacancies, and then they often refuse to advertise them widely. For example, most of the 150 professional vacancies advertised so far in March have been posted on individual health region websites only, and not even on the provincial government’s own SaskJobs website. Positions for EMS workers, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Psychologists, Respiratory Therapists and many other professions sit vacant, while Saskatchewan families lose needed health care services. It’s time to fill these vacancies, and restore public health care services,” Wasylenko said.

“There is no justification for what the health regions have called vacancy management, since many of the regions ran large surpluses last year, and now they will receive even larger budgets from the province in the coming year. The provincial budget increases announced today should be used to restore public health care services, not pad health region surpluses,” Wasylenko said.

“Some health regions have argued that the number of vacancies is high, because people just aren’t applying for these positions. That argument puts the lie to claims from these same health regions, who in the last round of collective bargaining maintained that the wages and benefits offered to Saskatchewan’s specialized health care professionals are “very competitive”. Health care managers can’t have it both ways: If Saskatchewan’s wages and benefits are so competitive, why can’t they fill these vacant positions with ease?” Wasylenko asked.

Health Sciences represents more than three-thousand specialized health care professionals from more than thirty health care professions. Members include: Emergency care workers like Paramedics; Acute care workers like Hospital Pharmacists, Perfusionists, and Respiratory Therapists; Rehab professionals like Physical Therapists and Speech Language Pathologists; and Community-based professionals like Public Health Inspectors, Psychologists and Social Workers.

For Further Information Contact:

Kate Robinson
Communications, Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan
306-221-6316

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