In the last seven days, COVID cases in Saskatchewan have been the second highest amongst the provinces, and we have the third highest rate of deaths. Furthermore, the population of Saskatchewan has the second lowest percentage of people who are fully vaccinated.
“Our hospitals are still struggling to care for hundreds of COVID-19 patients. The number of outbreaks in Saskatchewan care homes continues to climb. Nearly 20 deaths among seniors in the last week alone, and our members in the health care and education sector are stretched to the breaking point due to short staffing,” said Judy Henley, president of CUPE Saskatchewan. “It is clear that Scott Moe and the Saskatchewan Party government is ignoring the medical community and pandering to far-right extremists.”
Saskatchewan is the only province that has had no gathering or capacity limits since July 2021 and is the first province to remove all public safety measures.
“Given our record hospitalizations from last week, it is reckless for the government to be the first province to do away with the proof of vaccination and mandatory masking,” added Henley. “Furthermore, abandoning public testing, tracking and reporting – makes it impossible to make informed decisions as individuals or organizations.”
As we move forward with the re-opening, CUPE Saskatchewan is joining with the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour to urge the Premier to:
- Scrap plans to cancel public access to PCR testing, daily case reporting and proof of vaccination.
- Ensure proper PPE for all workers, including adequate ventilation.
- Legislate ten days of paid sick leave for all workers.
- Ensure safe staffing levels in our hospitals, schools, and other public services.
“We are all tired of COVID-19 but the safety of the public, and of workers, needs to be a priority for this government. I urge everyone who is upset and frustrated by this announcement to call their MLA and speak up for safety,” concluded Henley.