REGINA — GSM members voted 70 per cent in favour of the new provincial collective agreement. The new agreement gives union workers annual wage increases of zero per cent, zero per cent, one per cent, two per cent, two per cent and two per cent, four to seven per cent more over a six-year stay, from 1 October 2016 until 30 September 2022. “Essential services laws, in their current form, make it virtually impossible to negotiate free collective agreements.” The new agreement provides for wage increases of zero per cent, zero per cent, one per cent, two per cent (combination of pension and general wage increase), two per cent and two per cent over a six-year period. It will run from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2022. “We are pleased that a majority of the members voted in favour of this interim agreement,” said Lori Bossaer, Chair of the GSP Negotiating Committee. An agreement between the provincial government and the GSP was signed by both parties, according to the province. Bymoen said it was the longest period in the union`s history, which had not reached an agreement with the province. He said the last contract officially expired on September 30, 2016. Both sides have been at the negotiating table since the previous agreement expired in October 2016. “I welcome the commitment and cooperation between the two parties to work on a new collective agreement,” said Ken Cheveldayoff, Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission.
The agreement covers approximately 11,000 SGEU members who work as transport and equipment officers, prison officers, park officers, conservation officers, social workers and many other public sectors. The GSM represents approximately 10,000 departmental employees. Negotiations on the new agreement began in October 2016, when the last agreement expired. Collective agreements include all in-scope employees of the executive and many agencies affiliated with departments. The province and the Saskatchewan General Employees Union (SGEU) have agreed on a new collective agreement that provides for a seven per cent increase over six months. In a statement posted on the union`s social media sites, it was noted that members of the bargaining committee would meet with members to present the full details of the agreement and the negotiation process.