A handful of Sun Country Health Region (SCHR) employees represented by the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS) withdrew their services on June 16. No appointments were cancelled as a result of the job action.
SCHR received no direct notice of the job action and was not notified by the union about which employees would not be at work.
"HSAS also has not responded to our requests to discuss or negotiate our essential services plans," said Don Ehman, Vice-president of Human Resources.
In spite of the lack of notice and detailed employee information, SCHR is prepared, he said.
"We have activated our essential services plans to ensure patient safety. Under essential services legislation, overall, approximately 83 percent of HSAS employees in SCHR have been deemed essential," he said. "That number might look high to HSAS but it's partly because all of our ambulance staff members are represented by HSAS. In other health regions, some ambulance staff is represented by other unions and their essential workers are lower as a result."
"We also have a lot of staff positioned in small, rural health facilities where they are deemed essential because there are so few of them."
Ehman said SCHR is confident it can continue to provide the essential services necessary for patient safety with these employees.
General information about which public services might be affected by HSAS job action is available on SCHR's telephone menu at 842-8399 and the website at www.suncountry.sk.ca Approximately 157 SCHR employees are represented by HSAS, in positions such as pharmacists, emergency medical services, addictions and mental health counsellors, social workers, dietitians, nutritionists, health educators, respiratory therapists, public health inspectors, therapists (occupational, physical, speech language), home care assessors, and others.
"Our plan is built on the need to provide service to the public, to ensure there is no danger to the life, health or safety of residents," said Ehman.