CUPE 5428, the union representing workers at the Town of Esterhazy, is filing for intervention from the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board for assistance with negotiating a first collective agreement.

“Workers at the Town of Esterhazy voted to join CUPE in April 2019. Since then, the Town administration has been attempting to strip away our members hard-earned rights and benefits,” said Jan Goy, CUPE National Representative. “It is absolutely ridiculous that the Town is rejecting any improvements to working conditions or compensation and is instead moving backwards.”

The employer presented a mediocre wage scale that the union was prepared to accept until it was lumped into a package deal of concessions, including a 50 percent reduction in benefits, and refusing to put hours of work and the clothing allowance into the collective agreement.

“The employer is refusing to put any language in the collective agreement that may benefit employees in any way, including preserving current practices,” added Goy. “It shouldn’t be this difficult to reach a first collective agreement, but the Town has brought in a high-priced consultant who is utilizing hard-bargaining tactics, which are slowing negotiations.”