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Bargaining Update - October 2, 2019

posted Oct 2, 2019, 3:20 PM by Recording Secretary   [ 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