Northern Health Care Providers Vote To Strike

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 15:08



Union members in two northern Saskatchewan health regions have voted in favour of strike action if they don’t get a new collective agreement soon.


SGEU says licensed practical nurses, emergency responders, medical diagnostic workers, laundry service employees and a wide assortment of other positions are covered under the move.


The union says the members voted 90 per cent in favour of job action because of the discrepancy in salaries that’s starting to occur between their jobs and those in other high-end positions.


Union spokesman Bob Bymoen says they hope the government is paying attention.


Bymoen says wages are the key issue, noting the government recently gave registered nurses a 37 per cent bump in salary.


The Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations says it has already put forward a competitive offer and is hoping to work out a deal.


Bymoen says no timetable has been set for job action, but he doesn’t anticipate any disruption of services over the holidays.


He adds two other unions have already obtained support for job action from their members.


No one from either the Mamawetan Churchill River Regional Health Authority or the Keewatin Yatthe Regional Health Authority was immediately available for comment.


The vote also involved SGEU members in the Kelsey Trail Health Region.