Media Release: From Progressive to Regressive

For Immediate Release: May 14, 2013

Saskatoon – Despite clear messages from members of SEIU-West and other working people of Saskatchewan to slow down and get it right, the SaskParty government moved ahead with the passing of Bill 85, The Saskatchewan Employment Act.

“Saskatchewan had some of the most progressive labour laws in Canada,” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “With a stroke of a pen, this legislation takes workers back many years.”

Working people and their families have been vocal about their issues with this piece of legislation, most recently SEIU-West members hand delivered approximately 3500 letters – signed not only by fellow members but by a wide cross section of working people – to the Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, Don Morgan on May 1, 2013.

“Members of SEIU-West have been calling on the government to slow down their implementation plan on new labour legislation since the consultation process began in May of 2012 with a short 90 day window to review fifteen labour-related Acts.” said Shelly Banks, Vice-President of SEIU-West. “It is really disappointing for working people and it feels like an act of dismissal.”

“It’s unfortunate that this government would rather push through less than stellar legislation than listen to the people who have really worked to help create the boom in this province,” said Cape. “We’re seeing more and more regressive labour legislation in North America which is whittling down the middle class. We would like to see shared prosperity for working people, rather than the scaling back of workers rights to increase the profits of employers.”

At first glance, it appears that the government may have connected on a number of the issues identified by the SEA Campaign launched by SEIU-West. More analysis of the Legislative Amendments to the Act will be done over the coming weeks with a view to determining whether these address the concerns of working people.

“I guess we’ll see what damage this iceberg does to Saskatchewan over the coming years. We had hoped that the government would present the Legislative Amendments to all stakeholders and offer up time for our feedback. It appears this government is more interested in expediency rather than listening to those people willing to stand up for their rights.” continued Cape.

SEIU-West represents more than thirteen thousand working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They include members who work in healthcare, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors. Visit www.seiuwest.ca for more information.

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For more information, contact:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator

Phone: 306.652.1011 ext. 2250

Click on the link below to download the PDF of this release:

Media Release: From Progressive to Regressive

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