March 18, 2020
Missed opportunity: SGEU says Saskatchewan government fiscal update does nothing to calm fears
Reacting to today’s Saskatchewan Party government fiscal update, the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU) is calling for more action and leadership from Premier Scott Moe and his cabinet.
“The only way to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is by assuring workers that they can take sick leave and self-isolate without facing financial hardship,” said SGEU President Bob Bymoen. “If the government is serious about protecting the province, there has to be certainty for the people of this province and their employers that the government has their backs. We heard nothing today about how they were going to do that.”
“We have people right now having to put their own and their family’s health at risk in order to pay their bills and protect their finances because they cannot afford to take unpaid time from work during this unprecedented pandemic,” said Bymoen. “They need answers now, not weeks or months down the road. Premier Moe, in his address to the province, asked everyone to take this seriously. I am asking him to do the same thing.”
Bymoen also noted that Saskatchewan is facing extremely challenging realities made worse by years of underfunding of our most critical public institutions, programs and services.
SGEU is calling on the Government of Saskatchewan to commit to ensuring that:
No worker will lose a job or any income as a result of taking measures to protect themselves, or because of temporary closures of their place of employment;
Parents without access to child care are provided with financial support;
Appropriate health and safety equipment is provided to protect front line workers; and
All requirements to provide a doctor’s note to access sick leave are waived.
SGEU represents approximately 20,000 workers from across Saskatchewan, who work in the provincial public service, adult education, Crown corporations, the health system and community-based organizations.
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