Defending the dignity and integrity of Saskatchewan professionals

SGEU calls on business group to stop its devaluing of labour

The union representing close to 20,000 hard-working trained professionals across Saskatchewan says shame on the Canadian Federation of Independent Business for once again pitting workers against each other and devaluing their labour contributions.

“We’ve seen this group attack the professionalism and dignity of labourers consistently, people who are out there risking their lives in some cases in their dedication to this province,” says the president of the Saskatchewan Government and Employees Union, Bob Bymoen. “I can tell you when I woke up this morning and looked at this snow coming down hard my first thought was I was deeply appreciative to the qualified men and women out there all night plowing our roads  and keeping us safe.

“The CFIB on the other hand was once again suggesting these people should be less qualified and earn less and we should pass off all these professions to the private sector where CEOs could make more money personally.”
This morning the CFIB released its findings comparing private sector workers to those within the province’s public sector to illustrate the gap existent in any situation wherein professionals are devalued.

“The proceeds from developing Saskatchewan’s resources equate in quality education, roads and healthcare. Those resources are sacred to the people of Saskatchewan, as are the professionals who contribute their time, energy and expertise making sure we all benefit from those resources. When will the CFIB realize once and for all people here still want to let our hard-working people in the resources we all own feel dignified in their contributions?

Bymoen says the commodification of labour is at the heart of all private sector soaring profits, and the real gap people want to talk about growing gap between the wages of the shareholders in the P3s the government is increasingly using and those of the workers it takes to make those profits.

”It’s time to challenge the CFIB for this constant propaganda that somehow justifies making professionals feel no dignity in their work, experience and contributions. “

Further, numerous studies dispute the CFIB findings.  The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) found women in the public sector were paid an average of 4.5 per cent more than women in similar occupations in the private sector: $45,821 compared to $43,841 in the private sector. Men in the public sector were paid 5.3 per cent less on average than men in similar occupations in the private sector: $57,318 compared to $60,531 in the private sector.

Overall the report found average pay levels for comparable occupations between public and private sector employers to be similar.

“A Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives study found it would take the average working age woman in Canada 235 years (or 85,778 days) to make as much as one of these CEOs makes in a single year. It would take a first-generation immigrant woman 268 years to do it. Let’s talk about real gaps.”

For more information, please contact:

Kathryn Engel
SGEU communications officer

Bob Bymoen
SGEU president


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