Bargaining Units‎ > ‎

Direct West

DirectWest is a subsidiary of SaskTel.

There are approximately 80 members in two locations, Regina and Saskatoon.
Collective Agreements:
March 17, 2014 - March 19, 2017

Bargaining Update - October 10, 2019

posted Oct 10, 2019, 8:51 AM by Gail Sawatzky

Sisters and brothers, 

As we continue our strike with 5000 working class people in Saskatchewan, we received a call from Directwest to meet yesterday.

We discussed the outstanding non-monetary issues and had some monetary discussions as well.  We gave them our position on these issues and talked about what is fair for the employees of Directwest.  They said they are not in a position to give a response and will get back to us.  (i.e.: they need to talk to Scott Moe first)

Our job as a bargaining committee is to get the best deal possible to bring out for a vote.  At this point we don’t even have a complete agreement to bring out.
We are continuing to apply pressure with our 5000 members.  Our National Union is on site with communications staff and 2 of Jerry Dias’s National Assistants.  We are applying extreme pressure onto Scott Moe, who clearly is the problem for everyone.

We understand this is a difficult time being on strike with no paycheque.  Everyone has bills to pay and the fear and anxiety is tremendous.  Sticking together and persevering with solidarity is what will get us through this and get us to a fair Collective Agreement.  This is the time to stand up and remain strong to make some gains and protect our Collective Agreement.  The bargaining committee understands the situation our members are in and will do everything to get to a fair Collective Agreement.

In solidarity
Your Bargaining Committee

Bargaining Update - October 7, 2019

posted Oct 7, 2019, 8:58 AM by Gail Sawatzky

Dear members,


A big thank you goes out to everyone for the incredible show of solidarity and support since Friday’s strike action began. Kudos on a job well done today with the continued picket lines along with the escalated actions in Saskatoon, Regina, and Coronach. The provincial government is starting to see that things are not going to be “business as usual” when 5,000 Unifor members across the province take job action.


As we said from the beginning, we are going to do whatever it takes to ensure we reach a fair deal in this round of negotiations. Therefore, we are going to keep the pressure on this government to return to the table and begin real negotiations. As part of our continued strategy to bring a resolution to this ridiculous dispute we are going to undertake another radical act as part of our rotating job action. On Tuesday, October 8, starting with the dayshift regular hours, all members are going back to work for at least one day. If you are part time or unaware of your shifts, please contact your supervisor immediately to determine the first shift you will be expected to return to work. We will be continuing to Work to Rule as we did starting September 30.


The employer has made painstaking efforts to re-work procedures for a skeleton staff to operate the workplace and prohibit your access. Most members’ electronic keys are deactivated and other key employment tools such as laptops have been returned to the employer. Returning to work on Tuesday will be very disruptive, as many of these procedures will take time to reverse.


Please keep in mind that this is a short-term measure. For tactical reasons, we won’t announce when we are returning to the picket line until 24 hours beforehand. We appreciate that this is not a lot of notice for family arrangements, and we appreciate your patience and flexibility as we exert incredible pressure on the government to facilitate a speedy resolution to this dispute.


As always, please get in touch with your picket captain or bargaining committee if you have any questions.


In solidarity,

Bargaining Update - October 2, 2019

posted Oct 2, 2019, 3:20 PM by Gail Sawatzky   [ updated Oct 2, 2019, 8:14 PM ]

Dear members,

With less than 48 hours to go before we commence our potential strike, I’d like to review how we got here and provide a brief update.

As you are aware, the provincial government declared that so-called public sector workers would receive a two-year wage freeze in this round of bargaining.

It must be emphasized that Unifor bargaining committees have been working for months even years to find a resolution terms with the employer that reflect your value as a Crown employee. 

I assure you that every alternative monetary avenue has been explored, and the employer’s negotiators have time and again been forbidden from agreeing to any contract that didn’t freeze wages for two years.

Through various membership meetings and surveys, you have collectively told your bargaining committees that this wage freeze—combined with record levels of precarious work, outsourcing our jobs, and a general decline in the workplace culture in many units—is simply unfair and we must draw a line at what we are willing to put up with.

Enough is enough. Crown workers are through being taken for granted and treated as if their contribution to the province’s utilities and services doesn’t matter. (There is no greater example of this than the attitude of the government appointed negotiators at the Water Security Agency, who has been remarkably disrespectful to the Unifor committee members).

Of course, our goal is not to disrupt the lives of our members or the customers we take pleasure in serving. Our goal is a fair contract. Nothing more, nothing less. That must include wage increases in line with what the premier himself enjoyed in 2019 (+2.3%).

Our campaign for fairness is not about political parties or politicians. We have chosen to highlight Premier Scott Moe as the face of MLA pay increases and the government 0% mandate, but every one of your bargaining committees has maintained a professional tone and a laser focus on what it takes to reach a tentative agreement.

That said, there has been no attempt from the employers to contact Unifor this week to find a resolution. We are ready to bargain—but workers at every one of our Crowns deserves better than the (single) offer we’ve been given for months.

As I mentioned, we are in an unprecedented position of strength for the Crown sector in Saskatchewan. While resolving a strike is never easy, sector-wide solidarity combined with meaningful public outreach will make it impossible for the provincial government to continue disrespecting your contribution to Saskatchewan’s quality of life.

In solidarity,
Jerry Dias

Bargaining Update - September 28, 2019

posted Sep 28, 2019, 11:00 AM by Gail Sawatzky

Dear Unifor members,

As you are likely aware, Unifor bargaining committees representing SaskEnergy, SaskPower, SecurTek, DirectWest, SaskWater, and the Water Security Agency filed 48 hours notice of potential job action on Thursday evening. 

They join the Unifor members at SaskTel (who served notice September 17), making a total of six Crowns and an agency in a position for legal job action on Monday, September 30 at 12:01 a.m.

For the past few days representatives from all bargaining committees have been working to try to find a fair collective agreement for all parties. Despite all of our efforts to find a compromise, the government mandate for a two-year wage freeze remains the only offer made by employers.

At all bargaining tables the companies are offering 0%, 0%, 1%, 2% and in some cases and additional year at 2%. No additional monetary offers (eg. pension or lump sums) were considered by employers. 

For these reasons we have been unable to come to a tentative agreement and job action must commence. 

Beginning on Monday, September 30 we will commence job action at all Crown corporations and the Water Security Agency. 

For the first four days the following job actions will be implemented: 
• No overtime
• Disregard the company’s performance targets

Over the next four days, you should not be doing anything over and above the minimum that is required to do your job safely and effectively. Please contact your shop steward or somebody from your bargaining committee for more information.
During September 30, and October 1, 2, 3 your bargaining committees will continue to make themselves available for bargaining with the employer. 

If an agreement cannot be reached before Friday, October 4 at 12:01 a.m., Unifor will commence a strike at all seven bargaining units.

Additional communication will follow as the week progresses. 

Friends, our strength is in our coordinated job action across the whole Crown sector. Please share the tactics above with your co-workers and participate to whatever extent is possible in your particular workplace.

A strike on Friday is a last resort, but we are running out of options to achieve the contract Crown workers deserve.

Thank you in advance for your continued support. 

In solidarity,

Your bargaining committees

Bargaining - September 27, 2019

posted Sep 27, 2019, 3:34 PM by Gail Sawatzky

Sisters and brothers, 

All 7 Crown Corporation Bargaining Committees have been meeting with their respective employers over the past 2 days.  We are currently reviewing the information which has been provided and evaluating next steps.

Please watch for a more detailed update tomorrow.

In solidarity
Your Bargaining Committee

Bargaining Update - September 26, 2019

posted Sep 26, 2019, 7:23 PM by Gail Sawatzky

Sisters and brothers,
Bargaining committees at seven Unifor Crowns met with their respective employers today (September 26). 
The government’s mandate of an up-front two-year wage freeze is still their offer. There was some progress in their wage offer in the later years. As a result of the grossly insufficient offer, your bargaining committee has served 48 hours notice of job action. 
We are presenting a new offer this evening and we will continue negotiations for the next three days. If a collective agreement cannot be reached, job action can legally begin at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, September 30—the same time for all seven Unifor units.

In solidarity

Your Bargaining Committee

Bargaining Update - September 23, 2019

posted Sep 23, 2019, 9:07 AM by Gail Sawatzky

Sisters and brothers,

We will continue negotiations on September 26 and 27 in Regina.  The employer has confirmed they will be in attendance to continue negotiations.  Our priority is a fair wage increase for our members.

Strike votes were counted Thursday September 19th for SaskEnergy, SaskPower, SaskWater, and the Water Security Agency. All delivered a strong strike mandate to their respective bargaining committees. They join SaskTel, SecurTek, and Directwest in a legal strike position bringing the total to 7 Unifor Crown Corporations.

 “Scott Moe is steering Saskatchewan towards a major service disruption,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “All because he refuses to grant Crown workers the same pay increase that he gave himself.”
 “Scott Moe saw fit to give himself a 2.3% wage increase, so it’s certainly unfair to ask Saskatchewan’s hard-working Crown workers to swallow a wage freeze,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director.  
Jerry Dias will be joining negotiations with all 7 Crown Corporations on September 26 after a 10 a.m. news conference at the Hotel Saskatchewan.

As always, we remain optimistic and focused on a fair deal for our members
Please continue to wear your blue “stand up for crown workers” t-shirts every Wednesday. 

In Solidarity, 
Your Unifor Bargaining Committee

DirectWest Bargaining Update – August 28, 2019

posted Aug 28, 2019, 11:04 AM by Greg Olson

We met with the provincial mediator on August 28, 2019 at 9:00 am in Regina.  Both sides explained the major outstanding issues to the mediator.  The mediator then separated both sides and began discussions with the Union.  We prepared a bargaining pass for DirectWest.  The mediator left us and took the bargaining pass to the company to discuss.  The mediator then decided to have a side bar with the Union and Company Chairpersons to see if there would be some movement.  The mediator determined there was no room for movement by either party and he ended the mediation process.

We are disappointed with DirectWest and their inability to resolve our members priorities and present a fair monetary package different from the package presented in May.

Please continue to wear your “Stand up for Crown Workers” t-shirts in the workplace.  Keep up the chatter and discussion about issues with your co-workers, friends and families.

Thank you for your strong showing of support for the bargaining committee.

In solidarity

Your Bargaining Committee

Bargaining Update - August 14, 2019

posted Aug 14, 2019, 7:50 AM by Gail Sawatzky

We now have August 28th scheduled for mediation with the provincial mediator.

We are continuing the pressure with Blue Shirt Wednesday’s.  Please show your continued support and wear your blue “Stand up for crown workers” t-shirts every Wednesday.

We will provide additional updates following mediation.

In Solidarity
Your Bargaining Committee

Bargaining Update - July 31, 2019

posted Jul 31, 2019, 11:01 AM by Gail Sawatzky

Sisters and Brothers,

Strong majority of Unifor members at Directwest voted in favour of a strike.

Congratulations to everyone for a strong show of support and solidarity! 

The votes have been counted and you have said yes to giving the bargaining committee a mandate and the ability to call a strike, if necessary. 
A provincial mediator has been assigned to assist and meeting dates are being determined in August to resume negotiations.

The bargaining committee is seeking improvements to several non-monetary items including the Sales Compensation plan, Performance Improvement Plans as well as fair compensation. 

“We’re hopeful that an agreement can be reached and service disruptions to the public will be avoided,” said Local 1S President Dave Kuntz. 

SaskTel subsidiary SecurTek voted in favour of a strike last month and SaskTel members voted in favour of strike July 22.  Workers at all seven crown corporations have expired contracts. 

SaskTel reported net profits of $127 million in the last fiscal year including profits from subsidiaries, Directwest and SecurTek. This spring, the Premier and Saskatchewan MLAs received a 2.3% cost of living increase. Unifor billboards in Regina and Saskatoon deliver the message: Premier Moe and MLAs -- If 2.3% is good enough for you, it’s good enough for me. 

In Solidarity
Your Bargaining Committee

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