|On September 2, 2021, SUN held Member Information Sessions regarding the Health Human Resource Challenges and COVID-19. The recent upward trend in positive COVID-19 cases has created significant challenges for SUN members given the unprecedented demands on the healthcare system on top of the effects of all that has occurred over the past 17 months.
At the September 2 sessions, we advised that, as always, SUN and SUN members want to be part of the solutions to ensure the residents of Saskatchewan receive the care they need and deserve. However, these solutions cannot be found at the expense of SUN members. Given the demands of the healthcare system, in order to support members, SUN has been clear that we need to hear what steps the SHA will be taking to free up resources throughout the system before SUN can be an active partner in discussing how freed up resources (SUN members) can be utilized within the terms and conditions of the collective agreement.
UPDATE: Recently, we have heard from the SHA and wish to advise all members of the following:
There are many times that SUN members do what the employer asks in order to provide care to patients/residents/clients, for the good of the patient in that moment, not even thinking about whether it is compliant with the collective agreement. Unfortunately, there are many examples where that non-compliant scheduling or assignment or reassignment continues and/or becomes the norm.
- The SHA Executive Leadership Team (ELT) has advised they are having discussions to determine what work can be paused or on slowdown to ensure the primary focus is on COVID response.
- Prioritization will be the SHA’s offensive, defensive and vaccine strategies
- There will be a focus on the following workstreams:
- Public Health (including Contact Tracing)
- Health Line
- Testing & Assessment
- Outbreak Management (Continuing Care, OHS/IPC, Screening)
- Acute Surge
- The SHA has indicated they will be continuing with “other key infrastructure initiatives that are at critical stages including AIMS”.
- The SHA has advised it is their intention to rely on Article 45.01(b) of the SUN/SAHO Collective Agreement and has provided some information about the SHA’s plan in relation to floating. SUN has requested clarity and indicated discussion will be needed, regarding this information including, but not limited to:
- the ability of the SHA to change SUN members’ schedules for the purpose of article 45.01 floating;
- the meaning and application of “where core duties as similar in nature” as per the definition of program in Article 30;
- what constitutes “emergent circumstances”; and
- the application of article 45.02
As indicated, it is SUN’s position that the Collective Agreement applies. SUN members have provided, are providing and always will provide, great care to patients/residents. It is up to the employer to manage its operations in keeping with the Collective Agreement.
If something changes in your workplace – think about whether the Collective Agreement is being complied with and if you are not sure if it is compliant contact your local president, your ERO or SUN Duty Roster.