Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4689 and the employer, South East Cornerstone Public School Division, have approved a new two-year collective agreement.
The agreement includes a lump sum payment of one per cent for 2016 and a wage increase of one per cent for 2017. Workers will also see an additional day for family illness, have increased use of personal days and a new language addressing violence in the workplace, as well as expanded occupational health and safety language and better layoff provisions.
Negotiations were set in accordance with the provincial government’s mandated 3.5 per cent wage rollback and employer proposals of zero-percent wage increases. The total monetary increase over two years is estimated to be an additional 3.32 per cent.
“In spite of the government’s wage mandate, we were able to reject concessions and bargain forward for our members,” said Local 4689 President Jeannie Taylor. “Both sides were very respectful throughout negotiations and we had a productive round of bargaining. Considering the circumstances, we are proud of the deal we presented to the membership.”
Almost 4,600 of the 7,000 CUPE education support workers across Saskatchewan have open collective agreements and are currently in bargaining or will be at the negotiating table in 2018.
CUPE is the largest union in Canada and in Saskatchewan, representing educational assistants, caretakers, administrative and library assistants, bus drivers and many other classifications.
“CUPE has a national policy against concessions. We held our ground and benefited from a respectful negotiating party across the table,” said CUPE National Representative Don Moran.
Of the 30,000 workers represented by CUPE in Saskatchewan, more than 25,000 currently have open collective agreements.