Saskatchewan health care professionals vote for strike action

Karen Wasylenko, president of HSAS, announced members have voted overwhelming for strike action to back contract demands.

File / Global News

SASKATOON – Members of the Health Science Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS) have voted 85.5 per cent in favour of strike action to back their contract demands.

The vote earlier this week happened after talks between HSAS and the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organization (SAHO) reached an impasse in April.

HSAS represents around 3,000 specialized health care professionals in Saskatchewan in over 30 professions.

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“(SAHO) presented a shameful contract proposal last month, which received strong negative reaction from the specialized health care professionals we represent,” said Karen Wasylenko, president of HSAS.

Wasylenko said the last offer from SAHO would have continued to hide health care staffing and service levels from the public, stripped members of existing rights and given wage increases below levels already approved for other health care staff.

SAHO officials told Global News that it does not see public disclosure as an issue of the collective bargaining process.

Instead, SAHO officials said, those responsibilities lie with the health regions.

HSAS members went on a series of rotating strikes in 2011 to back contract demands. That strike lasted for seven weeks, the longest health strike in Saskatchewan history.

Talks between the parties resume Friday.

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