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Health Sciences Job Action Begins in Prince Albert

Prince Albert (May 9, 2011) – About sixty specialized health care professionals in the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region will be on strike beginning at eight o’clock this morning (Monday), Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan President, Cathy Dickson, has announced.

“Health care employers and the Wall government are directly responsible for this strike action, as they have chronically under-staffed our specialized health care professions, refused to offer competitive wages and benefits, and have rejected our request to send this contract dispute to independent, binding arbitration,” Dickson said.

“Through more than two years of frustrating negotiations, we have done everything possible to avoid strike action, but an unreasonable government, and health care employers who are balancing their budgets on the backs of our health care professionals and our patients, have left us with no choice,” Dickson added.

“In Prince Albert today a variety of specialized health care professionals will be off the job including:

Addictions Counsellors from Pineview Youth Treatment Centre and Addictions Services

Assessor/Coordinators and Mental Health Therapists from Pineland Home Care

Dietitians, Exercise Therapists, Health Educators, Occupational Therapists, Pharmacists, Physical Therapists, Psychologists, and Speech Language Pathologists based at Victoria Hospital

Epidemiologists and Public Health Inspectors

Psychologists, Social Workers, and Addictions, Mental Health and Regional Health Service workers based at Victoria Square

“How long these professionals will be on strike, and where and when additional job action will be launched, will be made public at the appropriate time,” Dickson said.

“We need to take a stand against the chronic under-staffing of our professions, because under- staffing risks the health of Saskatchewan patients. We also need to take a stand for more competitive wages and benefits for our professional members, because recruitment and retention problems will only worsen if Saskatchewan fails to keep wages and benefits competitive with other provinces, like Alberta or even with other Saskatchewan health care professions such as Registered Nurses,” Dickson concluded.

Health Sciences represents more than three-thousand specialized health care professionals province-wide from more than thirty professions including: Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics, Hospital Pharmacists, Perfusionists, Occupational, Physical and Respiratory Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Public Health Inspectors and Social Workers.

For Further Information Contact:

Cathy Dickson
President, Health Sciences
1-306-361-5655

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