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The CUPE Saskatchewan Health Care Council brought together over 30 frontline long term care and home care workers from across the province to discuss the issues facing senior care and to chart a path forward to improve quality of care.

In recent months, there has been significant media coverage of issues in long term care facilities across the province. As frontline workers, CUPE members understand well the challenges in residential long term care and home care.

One of the biggest challenges raised was staffing shortages. Staffing shortages create challenges for providing quality care.  Aggressive policies that manage and restrict employees’ sick leave usage and access to proper leave from work, and understaffing as a whole, only cement the problem and negatively impact the delivery of care.

“The research is unequivocal: more staff means better quality care. Legislated and enforced minimum staffing levels are necessary to guarantee that money goes into staffing and to ensure quality of care for Saskatchewan residents,” said Gordon Campbell, President of the CUPE Saskatchewan Health Care Council.

Other issues that were discussed included workload, privatization and contracting out, staff and patient safety, the impact of LEAN policies and management relations.

“The CUPE Health Care Council cares deeply about providing quality health care to seniors and all residents,” added Campbell. “We will continue to advocate to improve the health care system and to ensure it works for families, for residents and for staff.”