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Health Sciences Job Action in Saskatoon

Saskatoon (May 11, 2011) – About one-hundred fifty specialized health care professionals in the Saskatoon Health Region will be on strike beginning at eight o’clock this morning (Wednesday), Health Sciences Association President, Cathy Dickson has announced.

“It is clear that health care employers and the Wall government have no intention of trying to negotiate a fair and reasonable contract offer for the more than three-thousand specialized health care professionals we represent. That’s why we are resuming job action and renewing our public call for this contract dispute to go to independent, binding arbitration,” Dickson said.

A variety of health care professionals will be off the job in Saskatoon today including:

  • Assessor/Coordinators from the Home Care Program at the Idylwyld Centre
  • Dental Health Therapists from Public Health at the Idylwyld Centre
  • Dietitians from Royal University, City and St. Paul’s hospitals
  • Health Educators from Public Health at the Idylwyld Centre
  • Nutritionists from Public Health at the Idylwyld Centre
  • Occupational Therapists from the Idylywld Centre, Kinsmen Centre, Parkridge Centre, Royal University, City and St. Paul’s hospitals, and the Sherbrooke Community Centre
  • Pharmacists from the Parkridge Centre and the Royal University and St. Paul’s hospitals
  • Physical Therapists from the Idylwyld Centre, Kinsmen Centre, Parkridge Centre, Sherbrooke Community Centre and the three Saskatoon hospitals
  • Public Health Inspectors from Public Health Services at the Idylwyld Centre
  • Speech Language Pathologists from the Kinsmen Centre, as well as Royal University and City hospitals and Mental Health Services

“How long these professionals will be on strike and where and when additional job action will be launched, will be announced by the union at a later time,” Dickson said.

“We will continue to take a strong stand against the chronic under-staffing of our professions, because understaffing risks the health of Saskatchewan patients. We will also continue to speak out for more competitive wages and benefits, because recruitment and retention problems will only worsen if Saskatchewan fails to keep wages and benefits competitive with neighbouring provinces like Alberta,” Dickson said.

“Health care employers and the Wall government cannot have it both ways. They can’t tell the public that they have offered our professionals a fair and reasonable contract with competitive wages and benefits, but then refuse to send this contract dispute to independent, binding arbitration. If their proposals are in fact fair, what do they have to fear from an independent arbitrator?” Dickson asked.

For Further Information Contact:

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

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