Bargaining Update - May 22, 2019

The Union and Company met with the conciliator on May 15 - 17. Further dates are scheduled for May 27 - 29.

The big issues as you know are Job Security, Mental Health and fair compensation. We are still working through language trying to find a solution which addresses our concerns.

We want to be treated fairly in our wages and all aspects of our jobs.

Thanks again for all the support for the bargaining committee. Keep up the chatter and discussions in the workplace and with friends and family.

In solidarity

Your Bargaining Committee

Bargaining Update - April 19, 2019

The Federal Labour Minister has appointed a conciliator to work through the impasse at the bargaining table. The earliest dates available to begin the process are May 15-17 and May 27-29 in Regina. In the last round of bargaining we had to declare an impasse. We went through the conciliation process and managed to negotiate a fair Collective Agreement which was ratified by the membership. The same conciliator has been appointed to assist us through this impasse.

We are hopeful conciliation will lead to a fair deal. A lot will depend on SaskTel and their stakeholder’s willingness to work towards a fair deal. If conciliation fails, we may be forced to take further action. Members should prepare accordingly over the next couple of months.

We are committed to getting a fair deal with out any form of job action and appreciate the support you have shown for the bargaining committee.

To continue our campaign of solidarity to get a fair Collective Agreement, we will be having a Picnic and Rally on May 4 from 11:00 to 2:30 at the legislature building in Regina. This event is for all Crown Corporations and is open to all members, all unions and the public. It is a family event with activities for kids and food, so please come out, wear your blue “Stand up for crown workers” t-shirts and stand in solidarity with all Crown Workers to send a message to our employers and the government about “Fair” Collective Bargaining.

In solidarity

Your Bargaining Committee

Bargaining Update - March 22, 2019

Thank you for your strong showing of support and solidarity on March 19. We wore our Unifor t-shirts, toques, hats, lanyards, etc. in the workplace; held placards; took pictures and signed the Unifor flags. Solidarity goes hand-in-hand with strength at the bargaining table:

This week we met with the Company on March 19, 21 and 22.

As we stated in our last bargaining update, the concerns from you, can be summarized into 3 areas: Job Security, Mental Health and Fair Compensation.

It is with great disappointment and frustration that we update you with the unwillingness of SaskTel to engage in meaningful negotiations on these issues. As such we will be declaring an impasse in bargaining and requesting conciliation through the Canada Labour Code.

As a result of the impasse on non-monetary issues, we have not received monetary proposals from the Company despite our requests over our last few meeting dates.

We have told the Company we are prepared to meet again with the conciliator.

We want a deal, but it has to be fair and address your bargaining issues and concerns.

Please continue to watch for updates and other solidarity events in support of the bargaining process and your bargaining committee.

In solidarity

Your Bargaining Committee

Bargaining Update - March 12, 2019

Your Bargaining Committee was scheduled to meet with the company on March 7 and 8. At the last minute, the company cancelled the March 8 meeting, the last day of scheduled bargaining prior to the expiration of our collective agreement on March 16. Needless to say, this was very disappointing for our committee.

During the March 7 bargaining, a group of Unifor members who work within the Sales Incentive Plans from the Customer Relationship Center (call center), Business Sales and the SaskTel Stores made presentations on the problems with the Sales Compensation Plan. This relates to our bargaining proposal #23 “The Union proposes to negotiate the elimination of the Business Sales Compensation Plan and Consumer Sales Compensation Plan”.

Our bargaining priorities include job security, mental health, and fair compensation. There are various ways the Company can address these concerns in bargaining and here are some examples:

Job Security:

  • Stop having Contractors, Retirees and Consultants do work our members can do in house. We believe our members have the best skills and abilities to perform this work and it keeps the knowledge in house.
  • Stop expecting employees to do more with less.
  • Not have Managers do in-scope work.
  • Reduce precarious work—we want full-time jobs or jobs with more guaranteed hours.

Mental Health:

  • Address the stress associated with doing more work with less staff and resources.
  • CSA Mental Health Standard which, if implemented, can create a healthier work environment.
  • Implement a Joint Harassment Committee.
  • Fully implement Women's Advocate (Saskatchewan has the highest rates of domestic violence in Canada).
  • Policies for better work-life balance.
  • Address the Sales compensation plan which is causing workplace morale issues and increased stress for employees.
  • Unnecessary sick leave notes and medical certificate requirements exacerbates the illness for many members and unnecessarily adds costs and burdens to our health care system.
  • Proper rest periods between shifts.
  • Removing systemic barriers for people with disabilities and for equity groups.
  • Implement mandatory Respectful workplace training and signs in the workplace.

Fair Compensation:

  • Improved wages. The Cost of Living increases and wages don't keep up which reduces purchasing power.
  • Improved pensions.
  • Improved time off provisions (work-life balance).
  • Differential pay to account for unsociable hours.
  • Lobbying for national Pharmacare to reduce costs.

The Bargaining Committee needs your support to help move the bargaining process forward so we can get some improvements to address our priorities. As such, we are asking for your participation in a day of solidarity in the workplace.

To coincide with our next bargaining date on March 19, we are holding a “Solidarity Day” in the workplace. T-shirts and other materials are being distributed this week. Please wear your shirt in the workplace on March 19 to send a strong and united message to the company.

Placards are also being distributed for members to write messages to the employer. Individuals or groups can take pictures while holding placards and send the photos to so the photos can be posted and shared. This will send a strong message to SaskTel about the importance of a fair collective agreement that addresses all of our top concerns.

To assist us further, Chris MacDonald, assistant to National President Jerry Dias, will be joining us to help make progress at the table during March 19–22.

We are committed to getting you the best deal possible using every resource, strategy, and tactic we have. Your support during March 19 and other targeted actions will make the difference. SaskTel needs to see we are united and serious about getting a fair deal.

Thank you again for your support.

In solidarity,

Your Bargaining Committee

Bargaining Committee by the Crown Billboard on Sask Drive

Bargaining Update - February 22, 2019

Your bargaining committee met with the Company on February 13th 14th, 19th, 20th and 21st. We met on neutral ground, utilizing meeting space at the SGI building and Casino Regina to continue detailed discussions of the exchanged proposals.

The Union was able to present the remaining 21 proposals that included monetary and non-monetary issues.

The Company and the Union were able to discuss each others’ proposals in greater detail and were able to gain more insight to the details and impacts of the proposed changes.

It is the Bargaining Committee’s opinion that the Company has asked for a number of concessions in their proposals.

From our November 26th update regarding the 3 areas of concern, we haven’t talked about compensation yet as it is a monetary item; we have had some discussion around Mental Health with nothing significant to report; and Job Erosion through contracting out appears to be a point of concern.

We are meeting with the company March 7th and 8th to resume discussions.

Thank you again for your support.

In solidarity,

Your Bargaining Committee

Bargaining Update - February 1, 2019

Your bargaining committee met with the Company on the afternoon of January 31st. We met on neutral ground utilizing meeting space in the SGI building to begin detailed discussions of the exchanged proposals.

The Company was able to get though their 11 proposals with detailed explanation. With only half a day available from SaskTel, we were only able to discuss 12 non-monetary union proposals. Both sides had an opportunity to ask questions and get a better understanding of the other sides position and the reasons for each proposal.

We will review the language from the Company in order to respond at our next meeting scheduled for February 13th. At that time we will go through the remaining union proposals and continue our discussions.

Thank you again for your support.

In solidarity,

Your Bargaining Committee

Bargaining Update - January 30, 2019

Your bargaining committee would like to thank you for the great turn out and support at yesterdays rally with Jerry Dias at the Delta Hotel. Attached are links of the Facebook Live stream of the rally and a January 29th Leader Post Article:

Thanks to Unifor Local 649 (SaskPower and SaskEnergy), Unifor Local 594 (Coop Refinery) and COPE Local 397 (SGI) for coming out and showing their solidarity. Also, a special thanks to Unifor Local 651 members at the Delta Hotel for their great service in hosting this event.

The bargaining exchange kicked off with opening statements from Jerry Dias and Doug Burnett.

We then exchanged proposals and will be getting into the specifics of the proposals at our next meeting on Thursday January 31st.

In Solidarity,

Your Bargaining Committee

Bargaining Update - November 26, 2018

The bargaining process is well underway with the preparation of our union proposals to be exchanged with SaskTel. We gathered proposals from June 19th to August 24th and held Local Screening Caucus Meetings in September to narrow down the focus of Local 1-S and Local 2-S issues. A provincial Screening Caucus was held in October to further narrow down priorities for the entire bargaining unit under SaskCouncil.

The proposals can be summarized into 3 areas of concern requiring improvement:

    • Job erosion
    • Mental Health
    • Fair Compensation

We have tentatively scheduled the Bargaining Proposal Exchange between SaskTel and Unifor for the end of January 2019.

Your Bargaining Committee would like to thank all our members for their contributions to the proposal gathering process. This is your Collective Agreement and your Union. Participation and solidarity are what makes us strong.

As bargaining progresses, we will be asking for your continued support and solidarity. Your strength gives our bargaining committee strength and power at the bargaining table.

For more information contact one of the committee members as listed on the Bargaining Committee Tab on SaskCouncil ( or come out to a General Meeting of your Local.

In solidarity

Your Bargaining Committee:

Dave Kuntz – President Local 1-S

Penny Matheson – Vice President Local 2-S

Steve Merasty – SaskCouncil Gender Rep

Tara Bast – SaskCouncil Member-at-Large

Mike Pilipow – SaskCouncil Member-at-Large

Jenna Russell – SaskCouncil Member-at-Large

Dan Bailey – National Rep

Part-Time Union Dues Collection Update - November 20, 2018

A joint communication between Unifor and SaskTel, regarding the union dues collection error made by SaskTel will be coming out shortly to the effected members. The following provides some additional background information and details about the arbitrator’s decision in this matter.

Summary of the timelines:

      • Error detected – Mid December 2016
        • Failure by SaskTel to properly collect the correct dues amount for part-time employees
      • Error corrected – January 2017
      • Union notified – October 2017
      • Negotiations on settlement between SaskTel and the Union – October 2017 – March 2018 – No agreement reached
      • Grievances filed by Local 1-S and Local 2-S – March 2018
      • On March 19, 2018, SaskTel provided notice to all impacted employees, who were employed in a part-time capacity between 2012-2016, that union dues for part-time employees had been deducted at incorrect rates back to 2012 (for Local 2-S) and 2013 (for Local 1-S). SaskTel provided six-weeks-notice that collection of the outstanding dues would begin with the May 3, 2018 pay period, to be remitted to the Union.
      • Unifor Locals 1-S and 2-S challenged SaskTel’s ability to arbitrarily collect back outstanding dues from Unifor members while grievances were active.
      • The parties agreed to have the issues related to this matter determined by Arbitration, and SaskTel held off collection, pending the outcome of Arbitration.

The Arbitrator has since ruled the following decision:

      1. The company will pay to the union within 30 days of receiving this award the full amount of the union dues owed to Local 1-S and to Local 2-S. I make no order with respect to interest.
      2. The company can recover amounts owed by current employees. The schedule for recovery will be the following:
        1. If under $50 owing, amount to be paid within one (1) pay period;
        2. If $50-$100 owing, amount to be paid in two (2) pay periods;
        3. If $100-$300 owing, amount to be paid in twelve (12) pay periods; and
        4. If greater than $300, amount to be paid in twenty-six (26) pay periods.
      3. The company will amend the Union Dues Report as agreed upon.

In the near future, the impacted part-time employees will be notified of their outstanding repayment amounts, based on a repayment schedule and will be provided the appropriate number of weeks’ notice that collection will begin with the January 24, 2019 pay period.

Dave Kuntz – President Unifor Local 1-S

Penny Matheson – Vice-President Local 2-S