CUPE 5430 President Bashir Jalloh and executive members joined health care workers, the public, and allies at a bargaining information rally at the Weyburn General Hospital to raise awareness about the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on health care workers. This is the second in a series of information rallies across the province to pressure the provincial government to provide a fair deal at the bargaining table.

“We had hoped the provincial budget would have recognized the crisis on the front lines of health care, but unfortunately, we didn’t see any meaningful plans to address retention of existing health care staff,” said Jalloh. “That’s why we will continue to hold these information rallies across the province – so the government knows that they are at risk of losing more health workers if they don’t bring forward a deal that improves wages and working conditions to the bargaining table.”

CUPE 5430’s recent cost-of-living survey shows 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.

“I am hearing from members who are burnt out, feel disrespected, and are considering leaving the health care field or the province entirely,” said CUPE 5430 Region 4 General Vice-President Adrienne Gardiner. “It’s a shame that health workers must rally to raise awareness about the challenges they are facing, but we are here to send the government a message – we need 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. We won’t settle for anything less.”

CUPE 5430 represents over 14,000 health service providers working for the Saskatchewan Health Authority and affiliates in five major classification areas: clerical, technical, nursing, support, and plant operations.