RNs - Saskatchewan

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More nurses needed in Saskatchewan

Significant portion of workforce expected to retire in 2012. Trelle Burdeniuk, CJME, July 22, 2011 The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses President Rosalee Longmoore says the need for nurses in the province will become greater as up to 1,600 nurses could retire next year. “We need to be bringing in new graduates knowing that we have this large number of experienced workforce that are ready to retire at any moment,” said Longmoore. She says the province isn't losing nurses to Alberta the same way we used to because Saskatchewan's wages are now more competitive. However, Longmoore says many Saskatchewan hospitals either have empty positions or are using lots of overtime. ... More

Saskatchewan health workers' OT, sick time down for cost savings

Canadian Press, November 24, 2010 Regina - Saskatchewan health regions are saving money by reducing overtime hours and sick time. The province says in the first six months of the 2010-11, the number of hours worked at premium rates per full-time employee is down 20 per cent from the same period a year before, for a saving of $8 million. Health Minister Don McMorris says in a news release that cutting costs in those areas allows them to focus on reducing surgical wait times and recruitment of doctors. The province says its partnership with the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses - which added more than 800 registered nurses to the workforce over the past three years - has helped reduce overtime demands placed on nurses.

Officials boast of hiring 830 new nurses in Saskatchewan, but say more needed

Canadian Press, October 12, 2010 Regina - The Saskatchewan government says its bid to attract more nurses and tackle a shortage that officials said could hurt health care has been a success. The government says 830 new nurses have been hired since the province and the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses joined forces in February 2008. The plan was for both sides to work with health regions to hire 800 more nurses over four years. But Health Minister Don McMorris says there's more work to do to fill vacancies, particularly in rural communities. There were still 327 openings at the end of June. Rosalee Longmoore, president of the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses, says more action is still needed to ensure adequate staffing levels for the consistent delivery of safe care.

Cypress Health shortens nurses’ shifts to eight hours

Chris Jaster, Prairie Post, September 23, 2010 Nurses in the Cypress Health Region will have a potentially life-changing decision to make in the upcoming months. The region is changing all nursing shifts from 12-hour to eight hours, and that caused approximately 50 Palliser Regional Care Centre staff members to walk out of a general staff meeting with the region September 16. “They held an informal union rally and I think that’s really unfortunate,” said Beth Vachon, the interim CEO of the Cypress Health Region. ... Cypress

Danger to nurses, patients

Betsy & John Bury, Saskatoon, StarPhoenix, August 13, 2010 News that a nurse made $250,000 alarmed us not because of the size of the payment but the way such a sum was earned. He works 12, 12.5-hour shifts a month, apparently works four weekends in a row, and picks up 12 more shifts by working overtime. The legislation to limit the working day to eight or nine hours, which was fought for so bitterly by trade unions two centuries ago, was to prevent this way of working. It was considered exploitative and, in many trades, to be dangerous. As a result, industrial accidents have declined. Now, however, excessively long hours seem to be permitted in hospitals, where accidents ... Danger

Overtime is about more than money

Angela Hill, Prince Albert Daily Herald, August 13, 2010 For Pepito Masiglat Jr., a nurse with the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region, working overtime isn't just about the money. "One of the main reasons we want to work is because (then) we aren't thinking so much about back home," said Masiglat, who came to Prince Albert from the Philippines in 2008. "I might as well work and keep myself busy." Work helped him avoid missing his family while his wife delivered their baby in the Philippines. It also netted him the last spot as one of the top 10 wage earners in the health region in the 2009-10 year. ... Overtime

Nursing salaries should be revisited

John Gormley, StarPhoenix, August 13, 2010 In the old Saskatchewan - where fear, loathing, envy and socialism reigned - a lot of time was spent talking about other people's money. From those afraid to show that they were doing "too well" to old-time CCF-NDP leader Tommy Douglas' mantra of "people before profits," Saskatchewan wasn't always a place in which to make money. Or at least too much money. As a capitalist, I've always believed that people are free to make the living they want - so work hard and find someone to pay you well. ... Nursing

Nurses Need To Work Overtime

Discover Moose Jaw, August 12, 2010 It's hard to imagine there's a shortage of nurses in Saskatchewan when some in the Regina Qu'appelle Health Region are pulling in between $180,000-$250,000 a year. The news is a little hard to believe until you start to look at the numbers a little closer. The salaries, which rival what some doctors make, have a lot of people talking and wondering what's happening in the Five Hills Health Region. Locally, a nurse just starting out makes about $64,000 a year - but with overtime a nurse can make over $100,000. "The top paid nurse in our region was at $118,000 last year," said Five Hills Executive Director ... Nurses

Overtime pushes nurses' pay above doctors

Postmedia News, August 12, 2010 It might be a tough pill to swallow, but a handful of Saskatchewan nurses earn more than some of the province's doctors. Several nurses in Regina and Saskatoon earned around $250,000 last year - largely because they worked numerous overtime shifts at double pay. Most of Saskatchewan's physicians are not salaried, but retained on a fee-for-service basis. The average general practitioner makes $247,000 annually, but that income must cover overhead costs such as clinic staff salaries and rent, said Dr. Guruswamy Sridhar, president of the Saskatchewan Medical Association. ... Overtime

Pilot project to alter screening process

Pamela Cowan, Regina Leader-Post, April 7, 2010 A pilot project to phase out registered nurses who perform blood donor screening at Canadian Blood Services has the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses seeing red. CBS won approval from Health Canada to phase in a new staffing model on Thursday. Instead of using registered nurses, CBS plans to train "donor care associates" to ask a series of questions to determine if potential donors are healthy and eligible to give blood. "Our members are telling us that it does require a great deal of skill," said SUN president Rosalee Longmoore. ... Pilot

Nurses host drop-in clinic in Regina to highlight need for health care on Premiers' meeting agenda

Anne Kyle, Leader-Post, August 6, 2009 Regina - Nurses across Canada are calling on the Canadian premiers who are meeting in Regina this week to put health care, which is critical in any pandemic planning, on their agenda. The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) and the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) hosted a drop-in health clinic in Wascana Centre Wednesday to highlight the need for Canada's health system to undergo a check-up. Premiers need to agree on a common framework with targets for implementation to protect health-care workers during a pandemic, said CFNU president Linda Silas. ... Nurses

Nurses' Unions Call on Premiers to Agree to Common Plan to Protect Health Care Workers During Pandemic

Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, August 5, 2009 Regina - Premiers need to agree to common framework with targets for implementation to protect health care workers during a pandemic, says the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions. A patchwork exists across the country in regards to pandemic preparedness. The Canadian government has yet to finalize the section of the Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan which discusses the mode of transmission of influenza and required control measures in health care settings. "The safety of health care workers during a pandemic is not negotiable", says Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions. ... Nurses

SAHO & Saskatchewan nurses to sign new contract

Anne Kyle, Regina Leader-Post, July 8, 2008 Regina - The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) and the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO) are to formally sign their new collective agreement Wednesday. On June 23, SUN's more than 7,200 members voted 78 per cent in favour of the deal which was also ratified by the employers and the SAHO board of directors. The four-year deal, which expires on March 31, 2012, provides general duty nurses, at the top of their pay scale, with a wage increase of nearly 35 per cent. ... SAHO

SAHO expecting new nurses deal to be ratified soon

Pamela Cowan, Regina Leader-Post, July 3, 2008 Regina - Health officials are hoping Saskatchewan will soon have labour stability on the nursing front. "We expect that the deal will be ratified (Friday)," said Susan Antosh, the CEO of the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations, which bargains on behalf of the health regions. Once the tentative four-year deal for the province's nurses is ratified by employers, the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) will get the result on Monday. The ratification vote is the final step in the SAHO and SUN signing off on their collective agreement. ... SAHO

Assessing the deal

Ripple effect of contract. Pamela Cowan, Regina Leader-Post, June 25, 2008 Regina - Other Saskatchewan labour unions will soon be saying, "Me too," predicts an academic at the University of Regina. Assistant professor Alan Levy's prediction comes a day after members of the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses voted 78 per cent in favour of accepting the final offer tabled May 30 by the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations, which bargains on behalf of the health regions. ... Assessing

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