Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Sask. crop insurance staff approve strike mandate

Most of over 500 workers handling Saskatchewan farmers’ crop insurance and AgriStability data have voted in favour of job action.

The 520 employees at 21 Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. (SCIC) offices, represented by the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU), voted 86 per cent in favour of a strike mandate in votes held May 11-20, the union said Friday.

The vote allows the union to serve the Crown crop insurance agency with strike notice, but Friday’s announcement did not mention such notice or set any possible date or deadline for a strike.

The majority of SCIC’s workers “are farmers and everyday rural people who are directly related to the agricultural industry and most of the wages they earn go back into the farms and communities they serve,” SGEU president Bob Bymoen said in a release.

“They are worth just as much as Information Services Corp. (ISC) employees and there is no reason why they shouldn’t be receiving a similar settlement of 7.75 per cent over three years,” he said, referring to a recent wage deal for the provincial Crown corporation handling registries such as Land Titles and Vital Statistics.

The result of the SCIC employees’ vote, he said, “clearly shows the dissatisfaction of our members with the government’s wage mandate of 5.5 per cent over three years.”

The SCIC workers have been without a contract since September 2009, the union said.

Neither the provincial government nor Melville-based SCIC — which took over administration of the federal/provincial AgriStability program in Saskatchewan starting with the 2010 program year — had any official comment Monday on the vote outcome.

COPA Medallion COPA finalist in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
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