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Member Communique: Restructuring in Health Care

 

CUPE Saskatchewan Health Care Council of Unions

CUPE Locals 3967, 4777, 4980, 5111, and 5999

January 5, 2017

Dear CUPE Health Care Member:

The Government of Saskatchewan has announced it plans to dissolve the current 12 health regions and replace these with one health region superboard in the fall of 2017.

When the announcement was made publicly on January 4th, it was the first CUPE had heard about the government’s plan, and few details were provided at the time. We are still working on understanding the full impacts of this decision on the workforce, and we anticipate future meetings with the Ministry of Health.

CUPE has serious concerns about how the creation of one provincial health authority will impact on our members, patients, and quality of care.

We know that the last two reorganizations caused uncertainty, stress, low morale, and confusion for our members. We want to reassure our members that there is no change currently pending to your employer, your collective agreement rights, or your representation by CUPE. Many changes will need to be legislated and should be preceded by a consultation process.

In the meantime, we want to hear from you. If you have any concerns, please contact your local union office. We will make sure we raise your concerns in our meetings with the government.

During this uncertain time, CUPE will continue to advocate on behalf of our members and for quality public health care across the province. We will continue to keep you informed as we learn more about how this restructuring will unfold. Learn more at www.cupesaskhcc.ca.

In Solidarity,

Your Health Care Council Executive

Gordon Campbell, Pearl Blommaert, Sandra Seitz, Jim Carr, Scott McDonald, Helen Sawatsky, Donna Krawetz, Brian Manegre, and Wanda Edwards

Member Communique: Viewpoints Member Survey

Dear CUPE Health Care Member:

The CUPE Saskatchewan Health Care Council is working with Viewpoints Research to conduct a member survey to hear from you about bargaining priorities and overall satisfaction with your union. Your participation will give us direction on priorities over the next round of bargaining.

Viewpoints is one of the industry leaders in opinion research, and we have worked with them in the past, including a bargaining survey prior to our last round of negotiations.

Individual responses will be kept strictly confidential, and no comments you make in the survey will be attributed to members.

Viewpoints started calling our membership on January 3rd using the CUPE Health Care Council phone number, and we anticipate calling will continue for two weeks. During this time period, if you see the CUPE Health Care Council’s number (306-546-2185) on your telephone, and you have missed the call, there will be no need for you to return the call, as you may be selected at a later time to participate in the survey.

The survey will take approximately 15-20 minutes of your time to complete.

Thank you for your time in participating in the survey.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact your CUPE local office:

CUPE Local 3967 (Employees of the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region)
306-757-7925

CUPE Local 4777 (Employees of the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region)
306-922-0600

CUPE Local 4980 (Employees of the Sunrise Health Region)
306-783-1396

CUPE Local 5111 (Employees of the Prairie North Health Region)
306-445-6433

CUPE Local 5999 (Employees of the Sun Country Health Region)
306-842-1559

In Solidarity,

Your Health Care Council Executive

Gordon Campbell, Pearl Blommaert, Sandra Seitz, Jim Carr, Scott McDonald, Helen Sawatsky, Donna Krawetz, Brian Manegre, and Wanda Edwards

 

CUPE concerned about impact health care ‘Superboard’ may have on quality of care

 

REGINA: CUPE has serious concerns about how the creation of one province-wide health care superboard will impact workers, patients, and quality of care.

“Health care restructuring will disrupt the established systems and relationships of providing health care in the province,” said Gordon Campbell, president of CUPE Health Care Council. “Today’s announcement creates more uncertainty for frontline workers and for rural communities across Saskatchewan. It is also questionable that any cost savings will result.”

Past experiences from across the country raise several flags when it comes to reorganization. Alberta has faced many challenges since merging all of its health regions into one. A report written for the government of Alberta raised several concerns with the larger system, including that the structure is confusing to navigate for patients and the general public and that staff do not know who they report to or who they can go to for assistance and support.

“We are concerned that one central superboard will be less responsive and harder to navigate for patients and communities,” said Campbell. “Will this lead to reduced services and a loss of decision making in communities, especially in rural communities? What will this mean for access to health care in communities like Preeceville, Wawota, or Grenfell that have already been experiencing issues?”

The uncertainty during and after the last two reorganizations caused stress, low morale, and confusion for frontline workers in Saskatchewan. All of these factors can have an impact on quality of care for patients and residents.

“Reorganization will cause significant disruption to the whole health system and distract from the main purpose of the health care system: providing quality care to patients and residents,” said Campbell. “During this uncertain time, CUPE will continue to advocate for quality of public care across the province and on behalf of our members.”

CUPE is the largest health care union in Saskatchewan, representing over 13,000 members. CUPE members work in acute care, long term care, home care, rehabilitation, and public and community services as emergency medical responders, continuing care assistants, licensed practical nurses, dietary staff, medical technologists and technicians, housekeeping and laundry aides, security, clerical and maintenance staff, therapeutic and recreation workers.

For more information, please contact:

Tria Donaldson, CUPE communications representative, at 306.531.6247

About CUPE 3967

CUPE Local 3967 has the distinction of being the largest CUPE Health Care Local in Saskatchewan and has the largest Membership in Canada.

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