February 7, 2024


The Public Service/Government Employment (PS/GE) bargaining unit of the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU) has reached an impasse in its contract negotiations with the Government of Saskatchewan. The current collective bargaining agreement between the parties expired on September 30, 2022.

PS/GE is SGEU’s largest bargaining unit. It represents over 11,000 members who work in government ministries and agencies across the province. Among them are firefighters, correctional officers, child protection workers, conservation officers and equipment operators to name a few.

“After over a year of bargaining, we are disappointed that the Government of Saskatchewan is unwilling to negotiate fair enhancements in the new contract,” said Lori Bossaer, Chair of SGEU’s PS/GE Negotiating Committee.

The union’s priorities include catch-up wage increases tied to the cost of living, enhanced mental health sick leave, enhanced salary provisions when employees performing essential services are required to keep working during a pandemic, and a modest increase to pensions.

“Over the past few years, our members on the frontlines have dealt with a pandemic, a mental health and addictions crisis, a cost-of-living crisis, and an unprecedented wildfire season,” said Bossaer. “These dedicated employees provide important programs and services to Saskatchewan residents, and they deserve to have a collective agreement that recognizes and supports the work they do.”

SGEU is seeking a contract that will help address member retention and recruitment so that government employees can continue providing the high-quality public services Saskatchewan people expect and deserve.

“We’re seeing more turnover across the board. Our members are burning out. They are working long shifts, skipping breaks, working extra hours and are sometimes forced to work overtime. Workload challenges coupled with wages that haven’t kept pace with inflation means that members are looking for work elsewhere. It is just not sustainable,” stated Bossaer.

The union’s next steps are laid out in the Saskatchewan Employment Act (SEA). SGEU has officially requested that the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety appoint a mediator or conciliator to assist both parties in reaching a satisfactory collective bargaining agreement.

In accordance with the Act, both parties must negotiate an Essential Services Agreement that outlines which workers must remain at work in the event of a work stoppage because of the duties they perform. The process is lengthy, and entails combing through each workplace to identify the members whose work is essential to the life, personal safety or health of the population.

Last year, SGEU launched a charter challenge of the SEA’s essential services provisions, and the matter is still before the courts.

For more information, contact:

Carolyn Rebeyka, Communications Officer

Phone:  306-519-2903

Email:  crebeyka@sgeu.org

About SGEU

The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union has been working together for Saskatchewan since 1913. Today, SGEU represents 20,000 members in six sectors across Saskatchewan. Visit sgeu.org to learn more.

Image description: Two SGEU members who work for the Ministry of Highways walk beside SGEU President Tracey Sauer and SGEU First Vice-President Diane Ralph with their backs facing the camera. Highway equipment is parked in the background.