Sask. unions form coalition to square off with Crowns

Modest wage increases offset by monetary concessions for ‘net-zero’, unions claim
By Danielle Harder
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 03/28/2011

Unions representing workers at Saskatchewan’s Crown corporations say they’re being offered what amounts to a “net-zero” contract, and they’ve formed a coalition to seek better terms for more than 9,000 employees at SGI, SaskPower, SaskEnergy and SaskTel.

COPE, CEP and IBEW recently banded together to share information and express their frustration with the current collective bargaining by forming a coalition dubbed the “Common Front.”

Garry Hamblin, a spokesman for the group and president at COPE, says the government seems intent on wage increases in the Crown sector of 1.5 per cent, two per cent and two per cent. He calls this “galling” given the organizations’ recent profits.