Health dispute talks begin again in Regina
After a one-day break, conciliation talks between Saskatchewan health organizations and the union representing 2,700 health care professionals are set to resume in Regina on Tuesday.
Provincial conciliator Doug Forseth has been joined by B.C.-based mediator Fred Cuddington to try to resolve the contract dispute that threatens to paralyze the province's health-care system.
The Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan, representing workers from a variety of job categories including respiratory therapists, hospital pharmacists, paramedics, social workers and physiotherapists,has pulled 28 people off the job, and there are concerns of more widespread strikes.
Union officials saythe strike will not escalate during conciliation talks, but in anticipation of widespread job action, health districts have been cancelling surgeries, discharging patients who do not have acute care needs and telling the public not to come to emergency rooms unless there's a true emergency.
The dispute centres on wages, benefits and retention money. The last contract between the union and the management group, Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations, expired on March 31.