Saskatchewan premier suggests voluntary union dues collection

Union wants clarification before voters take to the polls
||Last Updated: 11/04/2011

As Saskatchewan nears the conclusion of its provincial election, Premier and Saskatchewan Party Leader Brad Wall is suggesting he would consider introducing legislation seeing unions collect their own dues if re-elected.

Wall made the suggestion at a press conference when asked about possibly introducing provisions that would allow workers to “opt out” of union membership. Wall responded saying, "if it was something that was being requested by groups, stakeholders, I think we'd look at that perhaps."

The premier then discussed union dues.

"Whether it's a check-off or whether they send the cheque in voluntarily to pay for their dues, I assume those union members are supportive of what their unions are doing and would want to continue to support those efforts," he said.

Wall took to his Twitter account later to try to clarify his comments:

"Could have been clearer: no opting out of unions or dues," the tweet read. "Open to unions collecting their own dues."

Currently union dues are deducted from paycheques by employers and the contributions are forwarded to the unions.

Unions, however, say they don’t’ want to chase down members for dues and would like the premier to clarify his position before voters head to the polls.

“We are thankful that Premier Wall ruled out Right to Work legislation after being questioned about his position by Saskatchewan media,” Saskatchewan Building Trades business manager Terry Parker said in a press release. “We think that now would be a good time for Brad Wall to outline all of his intentions for labour relations affecting the construction industry for his next term should he get elected.”

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