“Premier Wall can keep making these public declarations, but the real decisions will be made through negotiations and, ultimately, by our members.” — Bob Bymoen, SGEU President
Regina (09 March 2017) — The Saskatchewan government's attempt to force public sector workers to take a 3.5 per cent compensation decrease, while in the midst of bargaining, demonstrates a lack of respect for the bargaining process, according to the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE).
Negotiating through the media has no place in good faith bargaining
“We’re disappointed that government is interfering with the bargaining process,” says Bob Bymoen, SGEU President. “If they were bargaining in good faith, as they claim to be, they would’ve raised this at the table instead of announcing it publicly.”
SGEU/NUPGE questions why, if everything is on the table as the Premier has said, all of his ideas for cutting the deficit focus on public sector cuts.
“This government is using the deficit as an excuse to attack public services and the employees who provide them,” says Bymoen. “They’ve been painting our members as the problem for months, without putting forward any other concrete ideas to deal with the deficit.”
SGEU/NUPGE recommends other ways to deal with deficit, not cutting public services
To address the deficit, government could instead trim executive management, pause construction on the Regina Bypass, look at increasing tax or royalty rates, or scale back the use of contracts and high-priced consultants.
SGEU/NUPGE will be taking government’s announcement back to its bargaining chairs and members.
“Unlike government, we respect the collective bargaining process,” says Bymoen. “Premier Wall can keep making these public declarations, but the real decisions will be made through negotiations and, ultimately, by our members.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 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