Saskatchewan`s Public Sector Negotiation Crisis “We are pleased that a majority of members voted to adopt this interim agreement,” said Lori Bossaer, Acting Chair of the SAD Bargaining Committee. We will continue to work to improve the employment of our members so that they can continue to deliver the level of excellence for which our public service is known. Over the past two years, Saskatchewan has been hit by a seemingly inexorable series of public sector labour disputes. In 1999, it experienced the most serious health conflict in the civil service since the doctors` strike of 1962. This strike by the Saskatchewan Nurses Union was preceded by the legal end of a work stoppage at SaskPower. And this was followed by a work stoppage by the Union of Canadian Public Employees (CUPE) against the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO). A subsequent agreement between SAHO and Service Employees International Union was only concluded after conciliation and the threat of delay. Discussions between the Government of Saskatchewan and the General Employees Union (SGEU) and cancer treatment centres have led to a strike. A subsequent provisional agreement was rejected by members. More recently, 14,000 health workers went on strike against 18 health districts. Volunteers, managers and relatives of patients have tried to maintain the essential service.

In the end, a conciliator helped SAHO and CUPE secure a provisional collective agreement that goes beyond provincial wage guidelines. The Saskatchewan Public Utilities Commission is currently in conciliation with the EMSS, which represents approximately 10,000 public servants. SaskPower`s agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers expires next spring. The members of this union are still upset by the conditions of their latest legislation, which were then solicited by nurses who violated similar laws of reintegration into the profession. .