'We deserve a fair wage increase.' - bargaining committee chairperson Tracey Kurtenbach.
Regina (13 Oct. 2010) - Employees of the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) have voted in province-wide balloting to give their negotiating committee a mandate to call a strike if necessary to win a fair contract.
The professional bargaining services unit of the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE) says the first negotiations after the strike vote will begin on Wednesday. More than 700 workers have been without a contract since July 2009.
"We deserve a fair wage increase," says SGEU negotiating chairperson Tracey Kurtenbach.
"Support staff at the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina have received substantially higher wage increases than what we are being offered," she adds.
Issues include wages, pensions, benefits and a plan to begin charging monthly parking fees.
Also without a contract are approximately 13,000 academic staff. The two bargaining units staged information pickets last month. At the time they were being offered a 4% increase over three years. Contracts for both groups were settled last time through mediation.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 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
SIAST employees appeal for public support