"We urge the government to consider the value of Crown corporations before dismantling public institutions that have provided excellent service and good returns to Saskatchewan people over the years." - Bob Bymoen, SGEU President.
Regina (27 Nov. 2012) - After the introduction of legislation to privatize Saskatchewan's Information Services Corporation (ISC) last week, the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE) stated it will be working to ensure that employees' rights are protected in the transition from a public to a private corporation, according to President Bob Bymoen.
"Our first concern is that our members maintain employment security, and continue to receive the rights and benefits of their collective agreement," Bymoen said.
"We have built a solid relationship with ISC management over the years and are committed to working cooperatively to ensure the best possible outcome for our members," he added.
SGEU/NUPGE represents more than 250 ISC employees, who work in information technology, customer services, accounting and administration.
While the union is committed to advocating for the best interests of its members at ISC, it continues to question the decision to privatize. "Public corporations like ISC deliver cost-effective, high-quality services and are accountable to the public," noted Bymoen. "Revenues from Crown corporations flow back to the people of the province, benefiting all of us, not just a few private shareholders."
The government is hoping to net between $90 million and $120 million from the sale of 60 per cent of ISC. "But that is just a one-time payout. ISC earned $93 million over the past five years, and would continue to generate profits on an ongoing basis -money that could be used to fund highways, new schools, and long-term care homes," Bymoen said.
"We urge the government to consider the value of Crown corporations before dismantling public institutions that have provided excellent service and good returns to Saskatchewan people over the years," he added.
The privatization of ISC follows a similar move by the Nova Scotia government to privatize its government SAP (payroll) service by contracting the work out to IBM Canada. IBM will also be receiving contracts from five provincial universities as well as the Nova Scotia Community College.
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