REGINA A provincial union leader says he doesn t expect meaningful consultation from the government s labourlegislation review process, but Labour Minister Don Morgan says allunions in the province have been invited to participate. Bob Bymoen, president of the Saskatchewan Government and GeneralEmployees Union, said Monday out of more than 650 stakeholdersinvited by the government to make written submissions on changes tothe province s labour laws, only 40 are labour groups. It isn t going to amount to meaningful consultation and we havelots of reasons to be skeptical, Bymoen said, noting a recentcourt ruling found the government s consultation regardingessential services legislation was lacking. They do not have any kind of positive track record when talkingto individual people and the unions that represent them, Bymoensaid, noting the list of those invited to make submissions thissummer includes more than 440 rural municipalities and theSaskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities. |
Each health region was invited, as was the Saskatchewan Associationof Health Organizations. But individual union locals were not,Bymoen said. It s so out of balance that I don t know how anybody can seeanything but that the thing is slanted, Bymoen said. It sweighted heavily in favour of the bosses.
It s about trade unions and it s about labour laws and theunions still don t get even half about six per cent of theconsultation requests went to unions, he said. Morgan said Monday he was a little disappointed with thecomments from SGEU president, noting the government has tried tobe as open as we possibly could. We sent out hundreds of invitations. Every union in the provincewould have received an invitation.
It s absolutely open to thepublic, the labour minister said. Morgan noted union leaders, including Bymoen and the SaskatchewanFederation of Labour s Larry Hubich, also sit on a relatedadvisory committee. Bymoen said they feel outnumbered in thatcapacity, too, but Morgan the union officials certainly (have)been asked for their input. We want it, he said.
We need it and hope that they willparticipate. So far, they are, so I hope they continue. We thinkthat the process is going as it should. We know it s a tighttimeline, but people are saying, We can do this.
Morgan said the government has already heard from individualmembers of unions, adding those who might not have received directinvitations can participate through the government s website.Though new legislation is expected to be introduced in the fall,there will be additional time for consultation before it passes,Morgan said. We wrote to everybody we had an address for, he added. It son our website. We re not trying to preclude anybody fromsubmitting.
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