January 25, 2022
The Honourable Scott Moe Premier of Saskatchewan
Room 226, 2405 Legislative Building Regina, SK S4S 0B3
Dear Premier Moe:
Saskatchewan’s Frontline Workers Call on Government to Protect Vital Services
On Thursday, January 20, 2022, unions, and professional organizations representing more than 113,000 Saskatchewan workers addressed the media and publicly called on the Government of Saskatchewan to immediately mandate the recommendations of our province’s Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab.
At a news conference on January 12, 2022, Dr. Shahab made strong recommendations that he suggested would combat the rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Saskatchewan. These suggestions are not included in the government’s current Public Health Order. Given Dr. Shahab’s medical expertise, we request that you and your government heed his advice and require the following mandates be followed by Saskatchewan people:
- Limit gathering sizes to a maximum of 10 people.
- Limit the frequency of gathering and establish a consistent “bubble” of close contacts.
- Limit non-school and non-work contacts.
- Limit non-essential travel between communities.
COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in Saskatchewan, and as Dr. Shahab indicated to the media on January 18, 2022, it will still be two-to-four weeks before we see Omicron’s peak. The introduction of these stronger mandates will assist in reducing community infections and alleviate the pressures being experienced in our schools, health and long-term care facilities, community-based organizations and throughout the public service.
Hospitalizations are only going to increase, which will continue to place unprecedented strain on the important programs and services Saskatchewan citizens rely on every day. Healthcare workers are calling in sick, facilities are bursting at the seams, and patient safety is at a greater risk every day.
Of course, it isn’t only healthcare that suffers. Through this rapidly intensifying community spread, our education sectors, community-based supports, and institutions such as correctional facilities are also buckling beneath the strain of Omicron.
Our organizations are being flooded with calls from members who are experiencing first-hand the impact of the lack of appropriate public health measures. Across sectors, frontline workers are reporting burnout and staffing shortages. They operate in crisis mode, and important systems are not functioning as intended or designed, creating significant safety concerns.
Saskatchewan’s frontline workers have shown up every day of this pandemic. In the beginning you celebrated them as heroes and encouraged the rest of us to stay home to flatten the curve. Now, we urge you to do what is right by protecting Saskatchewan’s frontline workers, so we may continue to provide safe, high-quality care and support across all important sectors of this province.
We invite you to meet with us at your earliest convenience to discuss the concerns of our members who are the frontline workers of this province. We are ready and willing to collaborate on solutions to support Saskatchewan families during these difficult times.
CC: Ryan Meili, New Democratic Party, Leader