Union representing government employees to vote on strike action

News source from CTV News

The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union is calling for a province-wide strike vote next month.

According to SGEU, negotiations between the union and the provincial government have reached an impasse.

“Our goal is to achieve a fair collective agreement for the people who provide important front-line public services: the social workers, wildfire fighters, highways workers, lab technicians, administrative professionals, agrologists and corrections officers, along with many others. Their work and commitment to Saskatchewan families should be valued,” said Barry Nowoselsky, chair of the Public Service/Government Employment Negotiating Committee in a written statement.

“Instead, public service workers have been scapegoated by a government that squanders hundreds of millions on high-priced out-of-province consultants and costly projects, like the Regina Bypass and Global Transportation Hub (GTH), an expensive and questionable carbon capture technology experiment, and the costly LEAN fiasco, just to name a few.”

The union says there will be a strike vote across Saskatchewan in July.

Contract negotiations began in October 2016. SGEU says in February, members were asked to a vote on a Memorandum of Agreement. The deal was rejected in April, and bargaining began again in May, but the union says talks broke down in early June.

“We are prepared to return to the bargaining table at any time,” said Nowoselsky, “but without a strike mandate, I doubt we can make any meaningful progress.”

According to the union, a strike mandate will not mean immediate job action.

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