On March 7, 2017, Premier Wall announced that the government had set a target to cut overall public sector worker compensation by 3.5 per cent.
Government officials have stated that the 3.5 per cent reduction target “is an expectation of school divisions, the post-secondary sector, health regions, crowns, ministers, and other government agencies.”
These rollbacks come on top of a provincial budget that hurt working families and rewarded corporations and high income earners with tax cuts. The government’s cuts to K-12 education, municipalities, post-secondary education, and the Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) will have devastating consequences for working families in this province. The government could have chosen to support public services and to grow and diversify the economy without making drastic cuts.
The Sask Party budget takes money out of working families’ pockets. The increase and expansion of PST disproportionately hurts lower income people. Families will also be paying more out of their pockets for services that used to be provided by the public sector, like the hearing aid plan or podiatry services.
Public sector workers did not create the deficit, and we should not be asked to cut our wages to pay for the government’s mismanagement of finances during a boom. Wages have not kept up with inflation, and now workers are being threatened with layoffs and rollbacks.
Many CUPE members are already struggling to make ends meet. We need to take action now and demand that the provincial government:
- Respect the collective agreements that are in place in Saskatchewan and let wages be negotiated at the bargaining table.
- Restore funding for all provincial programs cut in the budget.
- Restore the corporate tax rate to 2016 levels, repeal the regressive consumption tax increases, and introduce a progressive income tax system so everyone pays their fair share.
- Protect and restore our crowns, which are an important source of general revenue, and stop the reliance on costly privatization schemes.
The Sask Party has shown it can reverse bad decisions when the people of Saskatchewan speak up. We need your help to send a strong message today.
Here is how you can take action: