• authored by lefkenny
  • published Tue, Oct 22, 2002

SGEU Suspends Militant Union Officials

SGEU Suspends Militant Union Officials

Earl Hill, the chair of SGEU's bargaining council and Jason Rattray have been suspended by The Saskatchewan Government Employees Union. Hill was suspended October 17th, 2002.

Earl Hill is the leader of the SGEU corrections committee which represents about 1,000 guards.

The correctional workers have given 48 hours notice to strike and have threatened to walk in a wild cat strike over concerns about safety and hours of work. The workers are also upset about shift changes, job classifications, and management unwillingness to deal with workers grievances.

When SGEU signed their last collective agreement with the Saskatchewan Government last year, both sides agreed to establish a process to deal with the grievances of correction workers. Workers are upset with the labour management relationship, which they believe has made no progress in resolving any issues.

Jason Rattray has also been suspended by SGEU President Bob Bymoen for writing a letter to the Regina Leader-Post supporting the correctional workers.

President Bymoen states that the disciplinary measures are internal and he refuses to talk about them in public. Bymoen however made the statement that his union would like to support the workers on their issues, but the union will not support any strike action at the jails as the members still have a contract with management. Bymoen went on to say that the union has an obligation to the union as a whole.

The correctional workers on the other hand believe that the province has not lived up to its promises in the collective agreement, nor has the union it would seem.

In the mean time two militant union officials are suspended and for what-Hill for creating militant solidarity and Rattray for freedom of expression of his views.

What kind of a union suspends union officials for issues of creating militant solidarity and freedom of expression. It is suspected that Hill just may seek and injunction to overturn his suspension on the grounds that the SGEU violated its own constitution and policies.

Can anyone imagine a union violating its own constitution and policies? Unfortunately it happens far too often, to far too many union members.

Ever wonder why union solidarity wanes with apathy, the situation with the SGEU is a prime example why.

Sure maybe the president is upset because he may not be included in the militancy uprising, but just maybe the workers are sending the union a message too. After all what has the SGEU done to establish a process to deal with the grievances of correction workers that was agreed to in the last collective agreement? It would seem nothing or the members would not be militantly agitated in the first place.

Well SGEU you took the members dues and promised to establish a process to deal with the grievances of correction workers and now it is your turn to earn your dues. How about trying to be a union and represent the workers for a change!

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