January 27th, 2021 / For immediate release
REGINA – SGEU is calling for the Sask. Party government to invest in protecting long-term care workers and residents by spending the $31.3 million in federal funding they’ve left on the table.
According to a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Saskatchewan government has left $31.3 million from the federal Safe Long-Term Care Fund unspent. The fund is meant to bolster long-term care homes that have been stretched to the breaking point by the COVID-19 pandemic through investments such as improved ventilation, infection control assessments and improvements, and the hiring of additional staff.
Because the provincial government has not released its full plans for addressing the COVID-19 crisis in long-term care, it is not clear whether any of the money available through the Safe Long-term Care Fund has been used.
“It is unconscionable that Premier Moe isn’t using every available dime to help save lives in long-term care,” said SGEU Health Sector vice-president Diane Ralph. “If he needs advice about where investments are urgently needed, our members working on the frontlines of this pandemic would be happy to inform him.”
“The increase in COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths in our long-term care facilities have shown the Sask. Party government’s complacency when it comes to our seniors and the frontline workers who care for them,” said SGEU secretary treasurer Roseann Strelezki. “This government needs to immediately make a plan for that funding and start helping the struggling long-term care homes now.”
The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU) represents more than 20,000 members across Saskatchewan, including many staff in long-term care facilities.
For more information or media inquiries, please contact:
Amy Huziak - Communications Officer, SGEU