January 5, 2015 – For Immediate Release
Education Workers Deserve a Fair Collective Agreement
Moose Jaw – Approximately 300 SEIU-West members who work in the South East Cornerstone School Division (SECSD) have provided a strike mandate in support of their proposals at the collective bargaining table. Following this, on December 19, 2014 their employer put forward a final offer and demanded they vote on it.
“Our members have developed fair proposals, they have looked at the economy and they are strong in their support of the bargaining process,” said Kerry Barrett, SEIU-West Negotiations Officer.
According to reports, there has been an increase of young families with children in the area who have been attracted by the many jobs created in the resource industry. This will mean an increase in the need for the valuable services of teacher assistants, library assistants and technicians, administrative professionals, bus drivers, food service workers, facility maintenance and engineering staff.
“The vote result indicates to me that our members are sending a serious and clear message to both the employer and to the Ministry of Education,” stated Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “We cannot continue to make cuts to education; proper investment to achieve fair compensation for those who provide education and support services is needed. The children and families of our province rely on our members for the skill and professionalism they bring to the school system.”
The SECSD has proposed a 2 year collective agreement with 2% and 2% as a general wage increase – below the cost of living average for the province. Monetary issues remain the outstanding issue between the parties.
Should the final offer be rejected, the SEIU-West bargaining committee will provide notice to the employer and the Minister of Labour and will seek the services of a mediator in order to assist the parties to reach a deal. SEIU-West has been advising members via meetings and regular updates throughout the process and will continue to seek their input and direction as this process moves forward.
“Our members who work in these schools across the south eastern part of the province, including Estevan, Weyburn and all the communities in between, are focussed on ensuring that our children have the most fulfilling, safe and secure educational experience possible,” continued Cape. “They deserve to be treated fairly so they can continue to provide these valuable services to their communities for years to come.”
SEIU-West represents more than 13,000 working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They include members who work in healthcare, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors. They are joined by one colour, purple and one union, SEIU-West and they want you to note that purple works in our community! Visit www.PurpleWorks.ca to find out more about the members of SEIU-West who work for the people of Saskatchewan.
For more information, contact:
Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 306.652-1011 ext. 8733
For a printable PDF of this media release, click on the link below: