The largest union representing health care workers in Saskatchewan, CUPE Local 5430, says conditions are approaching a breaking point, and is calling on the provincial government to act quickly to avert disaster in the middle of the pandemic.

“Cases of COVID are skyrocketing across the province, and infections and exposures among health care workers in particular are making a bad staffing situation even worse,” said Sandra Seitz, President of CUPE Local 5430. “We need the provincial government to act right away to ensure we aren’t falling even further behind when there are outbreaks, and we need them to ensure every health care worker has access to the PPE they need to do their job safely.”

Seitz says mandatory overtime, understaffed shifts and a lack of transparency with workers about potential outbreaks in facilities are causing high levels of burnout and low morale among health care workers.

“The government is creating a dangerous powderkeg situation here,” Seitz continued. “During a pandemic, the government should be ensuring our health care workers have everything they need and more to look after patients in our communities. Instead, they’re flirting with disaster.”