REGINA, Oct. 3, 2019 /CNW/ - Unifor's various offers to find a resolution to the ongoing contract dispute with Crown employers have all been rebuffed by the provincial government, leaving the union with no other option than to strike.
"Contract negotiations must be about a give and take?but the Moe government's refusal to bargain fairly is driving Saskatchewan towards a major service disruption," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "Unifor has presented creative offers to find a path forward, but the government seems intent on forcing a strike."
Some Crown bargaining committees collective agreements have been expired for two years or longer, in an attempt to find a solution to the government's proposed wage freeze mandate. The union recently offered to accept lump sum payments in lieu of a base wage increase in the expired years of their contract. In the most recent offer, committees have also made offers to accept wage increases of 2 per cent in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Serious non-monetary issues relating to job security remain outstanding.
"What's good enough for politicians should be good enough for the families of Crown workers," said Dias. "Given the healthy cost of living increases to MLA salaries, Crown workers are being more than reasonable in their position."
On Friday at 12:01 a.m. nearly 5,000 workers at SaskTel, SaskEnergy, SaskPower, SaskWater, DirectWest, SecurTek, and the Water Security Agency are poised to strike if a tentative agreement cannot be bargained.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.