For immediate release March 7, 2017
Government’s attempt to force public sector workers to take a 3.5 percent compensation decrease, while in the midst of bargaining, demonstrates a lack of respect for the bargaining process, according to SGEU.
“We’re disappointed that government is interfering with the bargaining process,” says SGEU President Bob Bymoen. “If they were bargaining in good faith, as they claim to be, they would’ve raised this at the table instead of announcing it publicly.”
SGEU questions why if “everything is on the table” as the Premier has said, all of his ideas for cutting the deficit focus on public sector cuts.
“This government is using the deficit as an excuse to attack public services and the employees who provide them,” says Bymoen. “They’ve been painting our members as the problem for months, without putting forward any other concrete ideas to deal with the deficit.”
To address the deficit, government could instead trim executive management, pause construction on the Regina Bypass, look at increasing tax or royalty rates, or scale back the use of contracts and high-priced consultants.
SGEU will be taking government’s announcement back to its bargaining chairs and members.
“Unlike government, we respect the collective bargaining process,” says Bymoen. “Premier Wall can keep making these public declarations, but the real decisions will be made through negotiations and, ultimately, by our members.”
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