Happy New Year!
I hope that you had a wonderful and warm holiday season. It's no secret that this time of year can be difficult for many folks in our community, so it is always heartwarming to see SGEU members go out of their way to support those who need it, whether it be donating to the food bank, raising money for charity, or volunteering at a local event.
These acts of seasonal generosity make a huge difference. But, as we move into the new year, it is also important that we build solidarity that can support our community all year long. Union members know this better than anyone: eight-hour workdays, workers’ compensation, health and safety legislation, pay equity and anti-discrimination laws—all of these were fought for and won by union members like you, standing together in solidarity to create change.
What is solidarity?
In short, solidarity is unity based on mutual interests. Though SGEU’s over 20,000 members come from a variety of locations, backgrounds and industries, you are bound to share common goals. For instance, you likely all want to feel safe and respected at work, to have a healthy work-life balance, and to be paid a fair wage.
By building relationships based on what unites us—by standing in solidarity—we can present an organized, powerful and united front to achieve our goals.
110 years of solidarity
This year, SGEU celebrates its 110th anniversary. We have a proud history of building solidarity across the province. For over a century, we have been advocating for strong public services, good benefits and salaries and safe working conditions for workers in Saskatchewan.
We also have a bright future ahead of us. SGEU has many bargaining units entering, or preparing to enter, negotiations this year, and we know that our negotiating committees will work hard to get the best deal for their members.
This is where you come in. As you or your fellow members go to the bargaining table, I encourage you to stay informed, get involved and show your support. The outcomes of these negotiations will impact more than just the members bargaining. A strong labour movement benefits workers and community members everywhere—or, as it is often said, “a rising tide lifts all boats.”
I am exceptionally proud of all the work SGEU members did in 2022 to build solidarity within our union and within our community. Here’s wishing you a year of common ground, rising tides, and many opportunities to celebrate in 2023.
Tracey Sauer (she/her)