Next year, Saskatchewan will reverse some of its cutbacks to health care and will spend more on social programs.
But these steps, announced in this weeks provincial budget, may not be enough to head off a labour dispute with its 12,000 health care workers.
CUPE Saskatchewan was pleased with the new spending, but observed that the government wouldnt share its new prosperity with its workers. The budget didnt lift the wage increase restrictions on public sector negotiations and, as Stephen Foley, president of the CUPE Health Care Council observes, it didnt provide enough new money to smooth health care sector contract talks.
We remain cautiously optimistic that we will be able to address the inequities in the workplace, Foley said.
CUPE Saskatchewan president Tom Graham said a more substantial reinvestment in public services could have been financed by raising resource royalties.