Saskatchewan's unionized workers add millions to local economies

Saskatchewan’s local and provincial economies got a substantial boost last year, thanks to the higher wages earned by unionized workers, a recent study has found.

In its Union Advantage 2014 report, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) surveyed union membership and wages in provinces and cities across Canada. It found that union members earned substantially more than their non-union counterparts nationwide, with Saskatchewan showing particular progress in raising wages for women and young workers.

Those higher union wages translated into millions of extra dollars being spent in members’ communities, benefitting local businesses and creating local jobs, the CLC reports.

The study found that, in 2013:

  • Saskatchewan’s unionized workers earned an average of $4.99 more per hour than non-union workers, adding almost $25.3 million per week to the provincial economy.
  • Regina’s unionized workers earned an average of $4.46 more per hour than non-union workers, adding almost $7 million a week to the city’s economy.
  • Saskatoon’s unionized workers contributed even more to their city’s economy, adding an extra $7.9 million a week thanks to their $4.45 per hour wage advantage.
  • Female workers in Saskatchewan benefitted greatly from unionization, earning on average $7.69 more than their non-unionized counterparts, and adding over $25 million per week to the province’s economy. Those numbers put Saskatchewan above the national average, which is $6.89 more per hour for unionized women.
  • Saskatchewan’s young workers (those between ages 15 and 24) also enjoyed a greater wage advantage than the national average. They earned $3.53 more per hour than non-union workers in the same age bracket, compared to $3.16 more nationwide. Their added income put an extra $2 million into local economies each week.

The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union is proud of its leading role in securing the benefits of fair wages for Saskatchewan workers and their communities. SGEU’s 20,000 members live, work, and support local businesses all across the province.