Skip to content

Inside workers going on strike in Prince Albert

Over 100 inside workers at the City of Prince Albert have walked off the job according to CUPE union
Prince Albert City Council
Prince Albert City Hall, where city inside workers are walking off the job Sept. 11

PRINCE ALBERT - The Canadian Union of Public Employees has announced that their members representing City of Prince Albert inside workers are going on strike.

In a news release Monday morning, CUPE 882 announced members “will be exercising their rights for a full withdrawal of services,” according to their statement.

The union says this is the first CUPE job action in over 12 years in Saskatchewan, and the first strike in CUPE 882’s 70-year history. This strike impacts staff at City Hall, EA Rawlinson Centre For The Arts, Frank Dunn Pool, Alfred Jenkins Field House, and the Art Hauser Centre. 

The union says CUPE 882 members twice rejected the city’s offer of 11 per cent over four years. The union says it countered with an offer for four years and a 12 per cent increase, as well as “significantly reduced” costs associated with a collective agreement.

According to the union, the City of Prince Albert had refused requests to return to the bargaining table since the end of July. 

“It is unbelievable that the city has refused to meet with us to negotiate a fair deal,” said Cara Stelmaschuk, Vice President of CUPE 882.

“Based on the city’s costing, an additional one percent wage increase would cost the city an additional $48,000. We aren’t talking about massive increase – we are talking about a one per cent raise for the lowest paid city workers. At the last City Council meeting, Council spent more money on legal fees for the Golf and Curling Club than it would take to reach an agreement with our local.”

In a statement Sept. 7, the City of Prince Albert states it “continues to assess its operations” and will provide ongoing updates on interruptions.

The city states there is no impact to services at this time and that backup plans are ready to ensure operations continue in the short term. Updates will be provided if service interruptions are expected.

“Unfortunately the union is ramping up the rhetoric and doubling down on their position that this is a low-ball offer. The truth is it’s the best among Saskatchewan cities and one of the best in the Country,” said Kiley Bear, Director of Corporate Services for the City of Prince Albert, in a statement. “We stand firmly behind this offer. Their counter-proposal of 12 per cent over four years would require an additional 2.4 per cent mill rate increase next year alone. We cannot ask taxpayers to pay that when this offer already makes Prince Albert municipal employees among the best paid in Saskatchewan.”

“Rather than relying on the merits of their position, they are aggressively engaging in tactics that are misleading and inflammator. I understand this is designed to put pressure on the City, but it does not change the fact that this is a good offer and we will not ask the taxpayers of Prince Albert to pay more. Our offer stands and we are prepared to sign the deal today if they are.” 

You can no longer count on social media to deliver important news to you. Keep your news a touch away by bookmarking's homepage at this link.

Subscribe to newsletter to get our daily news to your inbox.