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Representatives of unions on the Minister of Labour Relation’s Advisory Committee are urging the the provincial government not to rush passage of the proposed Bill 85, the Saskatchewan Employment Act (SEA), through the spring session of the Legislative Assembly which begins as early as next month.

“We’ve spent a considerable amount of time studying the proposed SEA and despite the apparent goodwill around the advisory committee table, Bill 85 constitutes a wholesale change to labour legislation in Saskatchewan,” said advisory committee member Hugh Wagner.

Other labour representatives accompanied Wagner on the Minister’s Advisory Committee including CUPE Saskatchewan President Tom Graham.

There is no crisis to fix and no necessity to rush through with an omnibus bill that will likely govern workplace relations for a decade or more,” said Wagner.

“If the proposed SEA becomes the new consolidation of labour laws in the province, working people (particularly young workers, immigrant workers and other vulnerable workers) will suffer from a hasty watering down of our current labour standards which set the mandatory minimums for all Saskatchewan workers,” Wagner said.

Stable labour relations in all sectors run the risk of being thrown into turmoil. Thousands of represented workers stand to lose their rights to bargain collectively and be represented by the union of their choice. Litigation will become even more common place as collective bargaining becomes fragmented, bargaining units will multiply and costs will increase for employers, unions and the public due to duplication of bargaining.”

Related article:

Saskatchewan’s Bill 85 financial impact to unions a concern (Feb. 21, 2013)