Regina (June 21, 2011) – Rotating strikes by Saskatchewan’s specialized health care professionals will see about four hundred Health Sciences members off the job at eight o’clock this morning in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert.
“This is the seventh week of strike action, and still there is no indication from either SAHO or the Wall government that they are prepared to resume meaningful negotiations or accept our request to send this contract dispute to independent, interest-based, binding arbitration. It’s an incredible show of disrespect for health care professionals and the people we serve,” Health Sciences President Cathy Dickson said.
“In the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, health care professionals will be picketing outside Regina’s Pasqua Hospital, 4101 Dewdney Avenue, and at the Regina EMS Central Headquarters, 1350 Albert Street. In the Saskatoon Health Region, health care professionals will be picketing on College Drive, near Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital. In the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region, striking health care professionals will set up their picket line in Prince Albert outside the region’s Addictions Services office at 101-15th Street East,” Dickson said.
“Health professionals who were on strike yesterday in North Battleford and Moose Jaw will return to their jobs this morning. How long our members will remain off the job in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert will be announced at a later time,” Dickson added.
“While we apologize to our patients and clients for this disruption of service, we want them to know that we have been pushed to this decision as a last resort by health care employers who have chronically under-staffed our professions, and who have refused to present a fair and reasonable contract offer with competitive wages and benefits,” Dickson noted.
“Strike action would end immediately if health care employers returned to the table to bargain in good faith or the Wall government finally agreed to do what 67% of the public supports – send this dispute to independent, interest-based, binding arbitration, where a third party could review proposals from both sides, and then set the terms of a new contract,” Dickson concluded.
Health Sciences is the union which represents more than three-thousand specialized health care professionals from more than thirty health care professions. Health Sciences members include: Emergency care workers like Paramedics; Acute care workers like Hospital Pharmacists, Perfusionists, and Respiratory Therapists; Rehabilitation professionals like Physical Therapists and Speech Language Pathologists; and Community-based professionals like Public Health Inspectors, Psychologists and Social Workers.
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President, Health Sciences