Emergency Order Enacted For Flexibility In Health Care Scheduling Because Of Rising COVID-19 Numbers

An agreement has been reached between the government and health care unions to enact a Provincial Emergency Order to address labour mobility in the health care system, due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.

Health Minister Paul Merriman says it means greater flexibility in scheduling and redirecting health care workers to areas experiencing capacity pressures and in the use of supplementary resources.

A previous Letter of Understanding expired earlier this year. Merriman says, “We are grateful for the efforts of all the health care providers and their commitment to patients, residents and clients, especially during these unprecedented times.”

The unions involved are the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS), Saskatchewan Employees International Union – West (SEIU-West), Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union – SAHO (SGEU), and Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN).

The Saskatchewan NDP’s Health Critic, Vicki Mowat, and Labour Critic, Carla Beck, released a joint statement in reaction to today’s announcement.

The joint NDP statement can be read below:

“The only reason why the Sask. Party is doing this today is because they’ve failed to take any of the steps necessary to get the 4th wave of COVID-19 under control. If Scott Moe had listened to Dr. Shahab and public health experts and introduced indoor masking and proof of vaccination requirements, our healthcare system wouldn’t be in this dire situation and on the brink of collapse.

Scott Moe took his eye off the ball and took the summer off. He should have been working collaboratively with health care workers throughout the summer to ensure these necessary agreements were in place. Instead, we now have arrangements being imposed on workers, record numbers of new COVID-19 cases, and non-COVID patients being forced to go without needed treatments. All of this could have been prevented if Scott Moe had listened to the experts and focused on controlling the 4th wave.”


(With files from CJWW)

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