People standing with flags and picket signsCUPE 5430 president and executive members joined health care workers, the public, and allies at an information picket at the Victoria Hospital to raise awareness about the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on health care workers. This is the first in a series of information pickets across the province to pressure the provincial government to provide a fair deal at the bargaining table.

“We surveyed our members to see how they are managing the cost-of-living crisis, and the results were troubling. It’s hard to hear that health care workers are skipping meals, unable to pay their bills or having their families making sacrifices to keep the lights on,” said Bashir Jalloh, president of CUPE 5430. “That’s why we are holding these information pickets across the province – so the public and more importantly the government know that we can not and will not settle for less than these workers deserve in this round of bargaining.”

CUPE 5430’s recent cost-of-living survey showed that a full 86% of survey respondents said they cut back their grocery budget to make ends meet, 84% cut back on leisure activities/hobbies, 77% delayed a major purchase, and 73% cancelled or scaled back vacation plans.

“The provincial government claims they are concerned about recruitment and retention. If that’s the case, this report should be a wake-up call,” said Sharon Paul, Region 2 General Vice President. “What health care worker would want to come or stay working in Saskatchewan when compensation, working conditions, and the relationship with the government are so terrible? The government needs to provide an offer at the bargaining table that helps these health care workers keep up with the cost of living and reflects the value of their work.”