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Crown collective bargaining to continue over weekend as possible job action looms

6 Crown corporations, 1 Crown agency issue job action notice
WATCH ABOVE: Time is ticking for Saskatchewan's Crown corporations to reach an agreement with their union members.

Crown workers have served notice of job action as collective bargaining heads into the weekend in Saskatchewan.

Employees represented by Unifor at SaskTel, DirectWest, SecurTek, SaskEnergy, SaskPower, Saskatchewan Water Corporation and the Water Security Agency (WSA) received new contact offers on Sept. 26.

READ MORE: Plans in place to ensure services continue in case of SaskTel strike: gov’t

Details of the new offers were not disclosed by the provincial government.

SaskTel employees have already served notice and job action is set to begin at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 30 if a collective agreement is not reached.

The five other Crown corporations and WSA have since delivered 48-hour strike notice for Sept. 30.

“Our government recognizes that job action is part of the bargaining process and is the right of unions. However, we continue to feel a strike is not in the best interest of the Crowns, Crown employees, and Crown shareholders — the people of Saskatchewan,” read a statement from Finance Minister Donna Harpauer on Sept. 27.

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“We continue to have confidence in the collective bargaining process that will continue throughout the weekend.”

READ MORE: SaskTel union says no pay raise until 2021 is not a fair package

Unifor said the government’s refusal to abandon wage freezes for near 5,000 Crown workers forced the notice of job action.

The union criticized MLAs for taking a 2.3 per cent pay increase earlier this year.

Negotiations will continue through Sept. 29, according to the union.

Harpauer added in the event Unifor takes job action, agreements and plans are in place at all Crowns to ensure vital services continue.