Tentative deal reached between six Crown corporations and Unifor

SaskTel employee Ryan Cleniuk, centre, waves to drivers in the hope of a supportive "honk" near a SaskTel building on Saskatchewan Drive in downtown Regina on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Bell

After 17 days of striking, the six Crown corporations have reached a tentative deal with their respective Unifor locals.

Return to work schedules will begin Monday, but operations will take a few days to return to normal.

According to the province, SaskEnergy, SaskPower, SaskTel, Directwest, SecurTek and SaskWater signed an agreement Sunday.

READ MORE: ‘Clearly at an impasse’: No deal reached after talks continue between Sask. Crowns and union

“These agreements were reached because dedicated teams were determined to achieve agreements that are fair and beneficial to both the employees and the corporations,” said Blair Swystun, president and CEO of Crown Investments Corporation (CIC). “On behalf of the leadership at each of the Crowns and CIC, thank you to the Crown bargaining teams and Unifor’s negotiators who have worked tirelessly to reach settlements.”

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Details of the agreements won’t be available until ratification has been completed by unionized employees at all Crown corporations.

“Solidarity and the support from Unifor members at all six Crowns along with those who joined our picket lines from across the province were key to achieving this agreement,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor national president.

“I want to thank Ian Davidson, President, Unifor Local 649, Dave Kuntz, President, Unifor Local 1-S, Penny Matheson, President, Unifor Local 2-S and Doug Lang, President, Unifor Local 820 for showing tremendous resolve and leadership to stand together and fight back against the regressive Moe government mandate to achieve a fair collective agreement.”

Employees from the Crown corporations will vote on the tentative deals over the next few weeks, according to CIC.

“This was a historic and yet complicated round of bargaining and the bargaining committees will be recommending members ratify the tentative agreement reached today,” said Scott Doherty, executive assistant to the national president.

READ MORE: Upwards of 1,000 striking Crown workers rally in Regina

About 5,000 workers at six Crown corporations, including SaskPower and SaskTel, walked off the job on Oct. 4 after contract disputes with the government.

Wage freezes were an issue for the union, while the government had said workers were offered a five per cent increase over five years starting in the third year.

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