4% offer over three years unacceptable to 2,000 SGEU members across Saskatchewan.
Regina (3 Nov. 2010) - The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE) wants an out-of-province mediator appointed to deal with a bargaining dispute between its members and the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST).
SGEU represents 700 professional services staff and approximately 1,300 instructors at SIAST campuses in Saskatchewan. Their last contract expired 15 months ago.
"To quote the employer, they're basically saying that they cannot provide us with a further monetary response, so we're stuck with a 4% total compensation package (over three years) and of course that's not going to get us a deal," says Jim Steele, chairman of the union's negotiating committee.
"We don't want to hurt our students by going on strike. They, unfortunately, pay the price, so we requested concurrent mediation with SIAST," he told the Regina Leader-Post.
SGEU has sent a letter to the SIAST president requesting an out-of-province mediator, a move that helped the two sides settle a contract in their last round of bargaining in 2007.
Gary Earles, SIAST associate vice-president of human resources, says the institution is willing to seek "third party assistance" but details have to be worked out.
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 are ready to strike if necessary
• SIAST employees appeal for public support