SGEU: Made In Saskatchewan
SGEU is a 100 per cent made-in-Saskatchewan union.
We’ve been here since 1913, when government employees first joined together to form the Saskatchewan Civil Service Association. In the over 100 years since, SGEU has evolved into a union representing 20,000 members who live and work all across the province. From plowing highways to treating cancer patients to supporting people in crisis, our members deliver countless services that make Saskatchewan a better place to live.
Our members don’t just belong to SGEU – they are SGEU!
Our members don’t just belong to SGEU – they are SGEU! Members establish SGEU’s policies and priorities, set union dues, and bargain their own collective agreements. With the support of expert staff, our members work together to ensure that they and their fellow workers are compensated and treated fairly. SGEU members also champion causes, like strong public services and support for disadvantaged groups, that improve life for all people in our province.
SGEU is proud to be a Saskatchewan union in every sense of the word. Our decisions are made locally, by Saskatchewan people, for Saskatchewan people. Our motto is “Working Together for Saskatchewan” – and whether they’re on the job, negotiating a collective agreement, or deciding SGEU’s priorities, that’s exactly what our members do.
Our Mission, Values and Vision
SGEU is a democratic union. Through which we strive for healthy productive work environments as we provide quality public services and representation for all interest groups.
We value respect, learning, co-operation, dignity, equality, justice and diversity.
Our vision is a structure that is membership driven ensuring democratic and equitable representation. The structure will accommodate the diversity of our members and allow for accountable leadership and effective communication.
A Brief History
- 1913: The Saskatchewan Civil Service Association (SCSA) is founded as a social club with 200-300 members.
- 1920: The SCSA reinvents itself, with a new constitution that focuses on improving members’ working conditions.
- 1927: The Association convinces government to the pass the Civil Service Superannuation Act, creating the first pension plan for members.
- 1942: The SCSA secures its first cost-of-living bonus for members.
- 1944-45: The SCSA becomes a true union for the first time, under Saskatchewan’s new Trade Union Act. It negotiates its first collective agreement for the public service — the first such agreement in Canada. The contract provides annual wage increases, three weeks’ minimum vacation, overtime pay, cumulative sick leave, a grievance procedure, an equal pay for equal work provision, and more.
- 1962: The SCSA changes its name to the Saskatchewan Government Employees' Association (SGEA) in order to avoid negative connotations of the term “civil servant.”
- 1973: The first strike action in SGEA history — a one-day “study session” by liquor board employees takes place. Soon after, management makes an improved offer.
- 1974: SGEA’s first full-scale strike occurs when the provincial labour service walks off the job. A better deal with the government is reached within days.
- 1975: SGEA joins the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL).
- 1981: SGEA becomes the Saskatchewan Government Employees' Union (SGEU).
- 1982: SGEU implements its long-term disability plan for members, one of the best such plans offered in Saskatchewan.
- 1987: The Leadership Development program is implemented to teach SGEU members more about their union and prepare them for roles as stewards and elected leaders.
- 1993: After two months of rotating strikes, members at the Workers’ Compensation Board reach the first SGEU collective agreement that incorporates the principle of pay equity — equal pay for work of equal value.
- 1998: To reflect that its membership has grown to include many members working outside of government, SGEU becomes the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union.
- 2008: SGEU joins other labour groups in challenging the new Sask Party government’s overly restrictive essential services legislation.
- 2015: The essential services court challenge is decided by the Supreme Court, which overturns the legislation as unconstitutional, affirming the right to strike for workers across Canada.
- Now: Though it faces many challenges, SGEU continues to strive to engage its members, encourage diversity and equality, and improve the lives of working people throughout Saskatchewan.