SGEU members voice concerns about the need for better addictions services in Saskatchewan

“Right now, the Wakamow Manor Social Detox Centre is simply not structured or equipped to deal with all situations and clients who present themselves at the facility.” ― Whitney Kujansuu, SGEU/NUPGE Steward

Moose Jaw (8 Jan. 2020) ― Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE) members at Wakamow Manor Social Detox Centre located in Moose Jaw are echoing concerns being raised about the need for improvements to addictions services in the province.

Need for enhanced programs and services

The detox facility, operated by Thunder Creek Rehabilitation Services Inc., came under criticism in December 2019 when reports surfaced about two men who claimed they were turned away from the facility last fall.

“Staff at the detox facility work hard and are dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives,” said Whitney Kujansuu, SGEU/NUPGE’s steward at the Wakamow Manor Social Detox Centre. “However, it is becoming increasingly difficult because every day we see the need for enhanced programs and services, as well as additional funding, to be able to tackle the growing addictions crisis in the province.”

Well-being of clients and member safety are top priorities

“Staff are obligated to follow the policies and procedures at the Detox Centre,” added Kujansuu. “However, the nature of addictions is becoming more and more complex, so we are pleased the Health Authority is doing a policy review to ensure we are better able to keep up with current needs and expectations.”

“Right now, the Wakamow Manor Social Detox Centre is simply not structured or equipped to deal with all situations and clients who present themselves at the facility,” said Kujansuu. “The well-being of our existing clients, as well as, the safety of our staff is of the utmost importance, and unfortunately that means we are sometimes not immediately able to accommodate all those seeking treatment. This is an ongoing challenge that needs to be addressed with action by the Health Authority and the provincial government, not only in Moose Jaw but across the province.”

More funding needed

Approximately 60 SGEU/NUPGE members work at the Wakamow Manor Social Detox Centre, which is a Community-based Organization (CBO). SGEU/NUPGE continues to call on the provincial government to provide increased funding, and stable multiyear funding agreements, to Saskatchewan CBOs, to enable them to recruit and train additional staff, and provide more services and better long-term programming.

NUPGE Components
Issues and Campaigns

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE