MEDIA RELEASE: A Victory for All Working Families

For Immediate Release – January 30, 2015

Saskatoon – The Supreme Court of Canada released its final judgment today in the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour’s Charter challenge against the Saskatchewan essential services act. The decision was well-received by leaders and members of SEIU-West as The Public Services Essential Services Act (PSESA) has been found to be unconstitutional.

According to Canada’s highest court, this 2008 legislation infringes on rights and freedoms protected by section 2 (d) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The PSESA is declared to be of no force or effect, with the effect of the decision to be suspended for a period of 12 months.

“We believe this historic decision will remain relevant to all Canadian working people and their families for a very long time. SEIU-West members will not forget our struggles to achieve fair collective bargaining agreements as a result of the PSESA,” said Barb Cape, President of SEIU-West. “The Saskatchewan essential services law effectively prevented any meaningful strike activity by public sector workers in our province in support of collective bargaining. At the same time, no alternate dispute resolution mechanisms were made available in the act.”

“We are encouraged that the Supreme Court decision reinforces the respect for our democratic values and promotes workers’ right to freedom of association,” continued Cape. “We are hopeful that this decision will motivate the Saskatchewan government to understand the need to respect workers’ rights and workers’ voices in building our common future.”

SEIU-West represents more than 13,000 working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They include members who work in health care, 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 communities! Visit to find out more about the members of SEIU-West who work for the people of Saskatchewan.

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For more information, contact:

Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator – 306.652.1011 ext. 2250


For a printable pdf of this media release, click on the link below:

MEDIA RELEASE: A Victory for Working Families


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