SGEU calls for paid sick leave on National Day of Mourning

The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU) is taking a moment on Wednesday to recognize the National Day of Mourning.

SGEU Acting President Roseann Strelezki said April 28 is an opportunity for people to remember those who have been killed, injured or become sick while on the job.

Strelezki said this year they are highlighting the human cost from the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only did she mention how there’s nearly 500 deaths from people who tested positive for COVID-19, but that two-thirds of current COVID-19 outbreaks in the province are classified as workplace outbreaks. Strelezki added most other outbreaks are in locations such as schools and correctional centres.

The acting union president said that is why they are stressing the importance of governments to introduce or expand paid sick leave.

“It’s very important because people would stay home and would not be spreading the virus in the community,” stated Stelezki. “Let’s face it – when they go to work, they are going back home to their families and are affecting their families, too.”

She added that SGEU is also lobbying for priority vaccine access for essential frontline workers, fighting for better PPE and advocating for members to work from home.

“The pandemic has shown that so many workers are unacceptably vulnerable.”

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