People gathered outside with signs and flagsThis week, CUPE 5430 President Bashir Jalloh and executive members joined health care workers, the public, and allies at a bargaining information rally in North Battleford, Saskatchewan to call on the provincial government to urgently provide fuel relief for health care workers who are paying more at the pumps yet being compensated less for fuel costs while on the job.

CUPE health care workers’ mileage compensation rates, or the Saskatchewan Private Transportation Index, SPTI, is assessed quarterly by the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations, SAHO. On April 1, 2024, on the same day the federal carbon price increased and led to a 3.3 cent increase in gas prices, the mileage rate for CUPE health care workers dropped from $0.5472 to $0.5277 (a decrease of $0.0195).

“It’s unacceptable that on the same day the carbon tax increase hiked gas prices by more than three cents, our members began to receive two cents less to help them cover the cost of gas,” said Bashir Jalloh, president of CUPE 5430.

“Our members work tirelessly in hospitals, health centres, and care homes across the province. These changes will hurt our home care workers the hardest as they drive from community to community caring for Saskatchewan seniors and patients in their homes, keeping them healthy and providing cost-savings for our health care system,” added Jalloh. “The province needs to step in and increase mileage rates for our members so they can continue to deliver these important services in communities across Saskatchewan.”

CUPE 5430 is calling for urgent action from the provincial government to increase the mileage compensation rates for CUPE health care workers to help them manage the carbon tax fuel cost increase.