SASKATCHEWAN: Medical technologists represented by CUPE will set-up information picket lines in eight communities tomorrow, October 23, to demand the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO) negotiate a provincial solution to the staff recruitment and retention problems in their work areas.
The medical technologists, who work in x-ray and lab departments, will hold the information picket over the noon-hour in Regina, Prince Albert, Weyburn, North Battleford, Lloydminister, Meadow Lake, Esterhazy, and Humboldt. (see next page for details)
The provincial action coincides with a meeting CUPE has organized with the Saskatchewan Association of Health Districts to find a solution to the problem.
The medical technologists want a province-wide market adjustment to their wages to stop the exodus of qualified medical technologists to other provinces.
The lab department in the Regina Health District recently lost four technologists to Alberta and British Columbia, where lab techs earns at least $5 more an hour. The district already had a vacancy rate of 15% in the lab.
In other regions, such as Meadow Lake and Esterhazy, medical technologists worry about losing staff to other health districts that already have raised wages to attract these qualified professionals.
The staff shortages and poor working conditions are not new, but the situation has reached the “breaking-point” for x-ray and lab technologists in many health districts.
“In the last five years, our workload has more than doubled – we’re running all the time,” says Donelda Still, a lab technologist in Humboldt.
“We’ve been pushed to the limit and then some,” says Judy Lowey, a lab technologist at the Pasqua Hospital in Regina. “It can’t continue. We need to be properly compensated and our departments properly staffed.”
CUPE represents about 650 medical technologists in Saskatchewan.
The information pickets will be held at the following locations:
Regina General Hospital 12:00 – 12:30 p.m.
Contact: Judy Lowey at 729-3055
- Prince Albert:
Victorial Hospital 11:30 a.m. – 12 noon
Contact: Val Wiser at 763-5318
Weyburn General Hospital 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Contact: Debbie Hubick at 861-6339
St. Anthony’s Hospital 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Contact: Corrina Thompson at 744-8138
St. Elizabeth Hospital 12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Contact: Donelda Still at 682-4718
Battlefords Union Hospital 11:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
Contact: Cathy Reinhardt
Lloydminster Hospital 12 noon – 1 p.m.
Contact: Jackie Girodat at 780-875-3533
- Meadow Lake:
North West Health Facility 12 noon – 12:30 p.m.
Contact: Carol Deutscher at 236-6343